Sunday, July 24, 2011

cyber killers

The tragic death of the talented Amy Winehouse is, justifiably, taking up much space in the media and has elicited a public sadness and regret for the premature ending of a life. At much the same time, the horrific, brutal ending of tens of innocent and mostly young lives by a crazed killer in Norway has naturally provoked a public revulsion and a deep empathy with the families and friends of the victims.

But comparing tragedies and their emotional effect on us is very difficult in that the quality and quantity of our reactions are not always rational or proportionate to the depth and awfulness of the loss. The word disaster has become so widely and mistakenly used that it has lost much of its original meaning, and we become desensitised to it.

The media ensures that disasters involving celebrities and other famous public figures are kept in our minds for a long time and continue to stimulate our feelings that they shouldn’t happen and our questions as to why they did happen and how we prevent them happening again. But there are many tragedies to those beyond the periphery of the public eye that do deserve our attention, abhorrence and anguish.

One such tragedy is the killing of Natasha MacBryde, and I use the word killing carefully. At the age of 15 she threw herself in front of a train because she was cyberbullied by a group of evil beings at her school. As if that was not vile enough they then posted nasty comments and videos about her on the internet after her death. This story has had its brief allocated time slot in the media and probably will not be put in front of us again, but it deserves at least as much coverage as the fate of Amy Winehouse and we should mourn for Natasha just as much, if not a great deal more. Her death was entirely the fault of others.

Bullies, as I have written before, come in all shapes and sizes and are a virus that attacks any school, from the best to the worst. They care nothing about the hurt and fear suffered by their victims and care nothing about the tragic consequences of their actions. In Natasha’s case they were killers and should be prosecuted as such. The headteacher and staff of the Royal Grammar School in Worcester must take some blame too for allowing this to happen on their watch and should consider whether they can be trusted to hold such responsible positions.

Tributes to Amy Winehouse will continue to be paid and that is fine, but mine is to Natasha.



At July 27, 2011 9:37 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said.

At August 01, 2011 11:46 pm , Anonymous Ms Mop said...

As one who has been on the receiving end of bullying, harrassment and victimisation I have been failed by everyone who should have intervened i.e my employer,the police,H&S Executive
No one gave a toss, all turned a blind eye I have lost my employment, my income and three years of my life. The authorities are failing to protect the victims of abuse and allowing it to continue without intervention. It is my objective to get protection and justice for victims under criminal law. If u want to do something about it u can assist me or u can stand by and do sweet fa like everyone else who are happy to let the abuse continue.

At August 16, 2011 5:26 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. Bullying must be stopped!

At November 10, 2011 8:16 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This girls story is tragic, but there's something distasteful about out culture of 'collective mourning' for people we didn't even know. I get the impression people enjoy being apart of the social aspects of grieving for someone's death, like princess diana...

At November 15, 2011 3:58 pm , Blogger call it justice said...

I don't think it is about mourning for Natasha. It is recognising that bullying is so prevalent (with little publicity) and so destructive, often with tragic consequences. Bullies are rarely brought to justice but are allowed to continue in their happy, selfish and egocentric lives.


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