Staten Island, NY – I’m sure a lot of you have read about 15-year-old Amanda Cummings by now. For those of you who haven’t, two days after Christmas, she purposely stepped in front of a city bus while carrying a four page suicide note.
She would later die at the hospital from blunt force trauma and skull fractures and her family is blaming bullying for her death. The family claims she was bullied throughout school, even in the days before her decision to end her life. Her uncle has stated he wants justice and will push this as far as he can, in an effort to ensure those who pushed her over the edge are held accountable.
“I’m not going to tolerate this,” he said. “I’m gonna go full force. Kids can’t do this to each other.”
Her mother echoed the same sentiments stating, “This entire tragedy is far, far from over,” she wrote. “I am no where done with this.”
Her sister, Dawn, recently wrote, in part, “I AM BEGGING YOU KIDS, ANYONE WITH ANY CONCRETE PROOF OF BULLYING TOWARD MY SISTER, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. PLEASE. I NEED WITNESSES…”
But I feel Cumming’s family are facing an uphill battle, even if cops are examining Cumming’s cell phone, as it seems the main reason why Cummings killed herself had less to do with bullying and more to do over her 19-year-old boyfriend dumping her. While the entire contents of her suicide note have not been released, she reportedly does reference her recent breakup.
The bullying the family speaks of is the result of a love triangle Cummings found herself involved in that had her rival, and a group of her rival’s friends, sending her nasty text messages and threats that I have a real hard time believing were not going both ways.
But even if they weren’t, Cummings’ Facebook is littered with talks about killing herself, and I am curious as to why all of her concerned family and friends seemed to have waited until now to do get involved.
“I want to die,” she wrote on Oct. 20.
“R.I.P. Amanda Cummings, she passed away from a heartattack 30minutes ago, If u read this & wuldnt care stop reading, If ud go to my funeral (LMS),If ud cry or be sad comment with a heart. make this ur status nd see what u get,” she wrote Nov. 16.
“ill just go fuck myself, just like u said baby, then ill go kill myself, with these pills, this knife, this life has already done half the job. -___-,” she wrote on Dec. 1.
“Mad people are turning against me :’( im spending this sat nitealone in my room crying.” she wrote on Dec 3.
On the day she stepped in front of a bus she wrote, “So much pain right now. Everyones ignoring mee. Fml.”
An hour before she left the house for the last time she wrote, “… Nd ill die tomight crying over you..”
This all posted by a girl who law enforcement say was anorexic and a cutter, hospitalized two years ago for expressing desires to kill herself. I’m not saying that bullying didn’t play a role in Cumming’s death, but I am saying this girl had some obvious, longstanding mental issues and unable to deal with all the things, not just bullying, most teens go through at some point or another.
It’s not that feel bullying should be tolerated, or that people involved in cases where extreme bullying or hazing leads to someone getting hurt should go unpunished, but i cannot get behind laws that can lead to teenagers facing jail time because they called a mentally unstable kid a name in a text message.
But that’s the hope of New York state senator Jeffrey Klein, as well as the people backing his cyber-bullying statute. “My statute will be the only one that will criminalize cyberbullying,” Klein told reporters.
“Potentially someone who commits the crime of cyberbullying could do up to a year in jail,” Klein said while mentioning Amanda Cummings’s suicide specifically as part of the need to punish and to prevent cyberbullying.
“If people know they’re going to be punished with a crime, even a misdemeanor, they don’t commit the crime,” Klein said with a straight face.
And the death penalty keeps people from committing murder. If anyone thinks that passing a law to keep teenagers from being mean will actually keep them from being mean, then I got a bridge I’d like to sell you. Look, I feel for Cumming’s friends and family and they have my deepest condolences. I have a teens of my own and couldn’t imagine what they are going through and hate when kids choose this route to solve a problem. But I got better ways to put a dent in teen bullying and suicides that don’t involve politicians…
How about working with teens to make bullying socially unacceptable and something, if observed, they should get involved in before one of their peers kisses a speeding bus, not afterwards so they can run to Facebook to post “RIP” and make Memorial pages. How about parents paying attention to what their kids are doing online so they aren’t finding out after their kid is found hanging in a closet. I know, it’s radical thinking, but it just might work.
It sure makes more sense to me than a band-aid law that would potentially send a teen to jail because the 15-year-old ex-girlfriend of their current boyfriend wasn’t mentally equipped to deal with a break-up and some nasty texts.
Flame on!Tags: Amanda Cummings, Bullying, Bus, Crime, cyberbullying, facebook, New York, Suicide, teen