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American Carnage: Woman killed family, herself in triple murder-suicide

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lunedì 8 gennaio 2018

CYBERBULLYING SUICIDES 7 #JusticeForRosalie


Yucaipa eighth-grader Rosalie Avila may have committed suicide after a classmate told her to, a relative says.


With one wearing a “Stop Bullying” T-shirt, two people stand before the coffin of Yucaipa eighth grader Rosalie Avila, 13, at the funeral service at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. Rosalie committed suicide after her parents say she was bullied
Classmates at Mesa View Middle School in Calimesa witnessed Rosalie Avila, 13, being bullied by three other students and reportedly heard the ringleader, a girl, urge Rosalie to take her own life shortly before she hung herself Nov. 28, said Rosalie’s cousin, Riverside resident Star Lazcano-Valadez, 34.
One of the students who heard the exchange confided in Lazcano-Valadez at the girl’s funeral Dec. 20, when Rosalie was laid to rest at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.
“She (a classmate) told me it was one girl who really just did her,” Lazcano-Valadez said. “The girl told her, ‘You should just go kill yourself.’
That classmate and three women accompanying her at the funeral declined to answer questions, citing a possible lawsuit against the school district. One woman said they have not spoken to police, who have not yet confirmed bullying was going on.
Rosalie was being bullied a lot on social media, too, said Lazcano-Valadez, who wore a #JusticeRorRosalie T-Shirt at the funeral.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s detectives have interviewed family, friends, school officials and “multiple” students. None told police a classmate urged Rosalie to kill herself, said Detective Mike Madril.
Rosalie’s parents, who on Dec. 18 announced plans to sue the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District over their daughter’s death, are cooperating “somewhat,” but haven’t provided anything to substantiate repeated bullying, such as Rosalie’s journal, Madril said.

24-7 ONLINE ATTACKS

In the wake of the teen’s suicide, experts urge bullied youngsters to tell a trusted adult what’s happening.
Experts also warn parents that kids growing up in the digital age are being bombarded by bullying, gossip, rumors and hate speech in person and online, where attacks go on 24-7, often on popular cyber-bullying websites or apps where some people urge their targets to kill themselves.
Parents have no idea this is happening to this extentand how vicious and depressing it is for kids,” said San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Crime Prevention Program Coordinator Clark Morrow, who analyzes digital trends among youth.
While teens and younger children might not talk to parents about websites and apps they’re visiting, Morrow encourages parents and responsible adults to see what’s happening online.

There are hundreds of websites and apps set up by adults and adolescents for bullying, or used for that. One of them is ask.fm, which has been linked to suicides including the death of Rebecca Sedwick, 12, of Lakeland, Fla., who threw herself from a cement factory tower in 2013.
Others include After School app, Burnbook app, tango.me, Wishbone app and Slingshot app. Saharah.com is a popular new bullying and hate speech site from Saudi Arabia.
The sites and apps may appear innocent (Saharah.com: “Improve your friendship by discovering your strengths and areas for improvement”), but are used for verbal abuse and spreading rumors, often anonymously or while hiding behind user names or avatars. Kids say things online they’d never have the courage to say face-to-face, Morrow said.
Hateful or abusive posters are desensitized to what they’re doing and feel there won’t be any consequences, which may be helping to create a culture of people lacking empathy, he added.
Youngsters with FOMO (fear of missing out) are up all night checking out “rate and berate” sites to see what horrible things are being said about them, their friends and classmates and often end up like zombies at school and home, Morrow said.
It’s gossip and bullying magnified X number of times. It’s almost wall-to-wall in their lives,” he said. “This is going on 24-7, so they can’t get away from this.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in August that teen suicides among girls are at a 40-year high. Morrow said that’s because of cyberbullying and feeling their lives don’t measure up to all the trips, parties and celebrations they see posted online.
Rosalie hung herself in her bedroom after her parents, Charlene and Freddie Avila-Olague, say she endured months of relentless bullying from classmates. She was pronounced brain dead Dec. 1.
The family’s attorney, Brian Claypool, has said bullies told the girl she was ugly, had horrible teeth and was a whore with sexually transmitted diseases.
Detectives continue following leads and are analyzing her computer and social media records. If police confirm what the classmate told Lazcano-Valadez, the bully could be charged with assisting, aiding or encouraging someone to commit suicide or face another charge.
“It’s a possibility,” Madril said.
While such charges are rare, Michelle Carter, 20, of Massachusetts was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced in August to 2.5 years in county jail for texts urging her boyfriend to kill himself. Conrad Roy III, 18, died in July 2014 of carbon monoxide poisoning in his truck after Carter texted that he should get back in his car.

BULLYING DEFINED

Bullying is defined by the Anti-Defamation League as repeated action or threats of action by one or more people who have, or are perceived to have, more power, based on things like age, status or body size, and it’s meant to cause fear, distress or harm.
It’s usually insults, name-calling and rumor-spreading and can be identity-based, or related to someone’s appearance, gender, race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. More than half is based on appearance and body size, said Annie Ortega, education director for the Anti-Defamation League’s Pacific Southwest region.
In the Internet age, bullying has expanded, giving aggressors a larger audience and creating more bystanders to bullying behavior.
About 22 percent of students 12 to 18 years old report being bullied at school and nearly 30 percent 10 to 18 years old say they’ve been cyberbullied. Today, a target of bullying at school can go home and become the aggressor online because they have more power on the Internet, Ortega said.
She recommends that targeted youngsters report bullying to an adult and that parents set a good example for how to interact in person and online.
At Rosalie’s funeral, classmates remembered her beauty, kindness, sense of humor and generous spirit.
Lazcano-Valadez said she can only imagine what it’s like to be bullied both at school and online.
“I’m sure you feel you have nowhere to go,” she said. “They just want to get away from the pain and the hurt.”
She said her cousin’s death opened her eyes, making her more aware of what her own 1-year-old daughter could face growing up.
“Because this happened, it’s going to make a lot of parents talk to their kids,” she said. “I just hope it helps someone else.”

ADVICE FOR HANDLING BULLYING

Tell a trusted adult if you’ve been bullied;
Talk to your parent, teacher, older relative or police, especially if there’s been a physical attack, and talk to someone else if nothing is done;
• In a bullying situation, create distance from the aggressor, stay calm, seek help in a public place and defend yourself if attacked;
• Schools and school districts must have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying;
• If bullying is reported to school officials but not stopped immediately, students or parents can contact police for help or options;
• There are two types of bullies: those who think too much of themselves and think they have a right to do what they want to others, and those with low self-esteem and little power or control in their lives who think they get power or control by hurting others;
• Students can be allies for friends and classmates by talking to and including the student and listening;
• Girls often bully through relationships, excluding other girls, “Insta-shaming” by leaving someone out of a posted photo or “roasting” someone until they cry;
• Develop empathy and compassion, understanding when you’re hurting someone else;
• Treat others with the kindness you’d want your brother, sister, friend or pet to be treated with;
Parents should talk to kids about the sites and apps they use;
Parents should get familiar with cyber-bullying websites or apps;
• Adults should be role models for how to interact respectfully online and in person.
Yucaipa girl may have killed herself after bully told her to, relative says SUZANNE HURT | scng.com | The Press-Enterprise January 7, 2018
A disturbing rise in cyber-­bullying complaints in Australia has prompted law enforcement agencies to call for tighter regu­lations to remove offensive content from social media sites.
There was a 63 per cent increase in the number of complaints about cyber bullying in the past 12 months, with politicians and police expressing concern about Facebook’s capacity to respond. Current regulations categorise Facebook as a tier-2 social media platform, which allows the organisation 48 hours to delete content deemed to be offensive.
Law Enforcement Minister Angus Taylor said the government had “high expectations” from the social media industry to combat the rise of online bullying.
Companies like Facebook and Twitter are at the coalface and must be strong guardians of both privacy and safety,” Mr Taylor told The Daily Telegraph.
A Facebook spokesman was reported as saying “real people” were assigned to look at reported content. “This includes reviewers who understand local context ­because we know this is critical to assessing the meaning and intent of a reported post,” the spokesman said. “It also includes experts in enforcement in areas like child safety, hate speech, counter-­terrorism and legal specialists.”
Senior members of the NSW police said they were worried there weren’t enough local staff at Facebook Australia to respond to complaints quickly.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Facebook refused to disclose the number of local staff responsible for monitoring content. The company also refused to release figures on how much ­material was reviewed by an ­actual staff member rather than an automated process.
Cyber-bullying spike puts heat on Facebook The Australian January 9, 2018 RHIAN DEUTROM

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