Young Cancer Survivor Commits Suicide as She is Unable to Cope with Bullying

Written by: Sherlene

Bethany Thompson was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was just 3 years old and received radiation treatment. Though she had been free from cancer since 2008, the radiation treatment permanently left some facial nerve damage and left Bethany with a crooked smile.

Due to her crooked smile — and a mane of curly hair — students at her school (Triad Middle School) frequently bullied and discriminated against her. “After a particularly tough Wednesday with bullies, Bethany told her best friend she couldn’t take it anymore, and was going to take her own life,” CNN reported.

The 11-year old Ohioan then committed suicide on the afternoon of October 19. 

Bethany used one of two guns that were stored away at her home. Her stepfather, Paul Thompson, was asleep in another room when Bethany shot herself, shortly after getting home from school.

bethany-thompsonBethany (middle) with her parents by her side. She was left with a crooked smile.

“She had the softest heart. She would have talked superheroes and batman with anyone,” Wendy Feucht, Bethany’s mum, said.

Bethany (middle) with her parents by her side. She was left with a crooked smile.

Triad Middle School was well aware of the bullying of Bethany taking place in the school and had been aware of the situation for a long time. Before Bethany unfortunately passed away, she and her friend approached staff in the administration office with posters and signs supporting an anti-bullying campaign. However, she was turned down and was told that they could not be used.

Bethany had been seeking help from a counsellor and receiving support from her friends. Unfortunately, it was just not enough for her. The bullying really took a toll on her.

There are many other people all over the world that are faced with the same situation as Bethany. Many are severely bullied and discriminated against, resulting in feelings of loneliness and misery. We should all help victims in hiding.

Let’s all give a helping hand.

Whilst giving a helping hand to victims, we should also be looking at the root of the problem: the bullies. What methods do you think we can use to stop bullying? Why do you think people bully the less fortunate or those who are different from them? Have you ever bullied or been bullied? What’s your story?

Bibliography

Research:

Valle, Lauren Del, 2016. Ohio child cancer survivor kills herself over bullying. Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/31/health/cancer-survivor-bully-trnd/index.html (1 November 2016)

Images:

Media Wire, Tribune, 2016. 11-year-old Ohio girl who survived brain cancer kills herself over relentless bullying. Available at: http://wgntv.com/2016/10/31/11-year-old-ohio-girl-who-survived-brain-cancer-kills-herself-over-relentless-bullying/ (10 November 2016)

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