A schoolboy has committed suicide after constant bullying from peers on the school bus. He was only 13.
After being tormented about his weight, glasses and braces, Michael Martin tried to take his own life on 25 January, 2019. Doctors fought to save him, but the Michigan teen sadly died in hospital a few days later.
Michael’s sister is now urging people to speak out against bullying before any more children lose their lives. Because it’s the ones struggling who need others to fight it for them.
According to the Lansing State Journal, Michael had missed 33 days of school before he turned to suicide. The bullied schoolboy went to Everett High School in Lansing, Michigan (US), but towards the end only attended if his mother was at home and made him go.
Before the bullying on the bus started, his family says Michael was a great student and never skipped class. His mother, Joanna Wohlfert, knew about the tormenting and did try and reach out to both the Lansing School District and Dean Transportation (the bus company) about it. But sadly, she claims the school didn’t act.
“I know that some schools are overwhelmed with kids, but if you have a parent that’s reaching out to you, and trying to get help for their child, why wouldn’t you reach back?” she said. “Why wouldn’t you do something? He was going through a dark time and nobody cared. Nobody paid attention to him.”
A grieving family
Following his death in hospital, Michael’s sister, Myshaa Crump, took to Facebook to share her grief about her “sweetest little brother“.
“My sweetest little brother, it’s been almost a whole day since you’ve been gone and I can’t really stomach it fully,” she wrote.
“I didn’t want to reactivate my page and post this but we want your story to be told and we want you to live forever buddy 💙 you were one amazing kid, you loved all of the pets 🐶 you were extremely smart in school.”
‘Please speak up’
A heartbroken Myshaa also shared this important message about bullying.
“If anybody you know is struggling with depression or being bullied in any shape or form whether it be verbally or even physically , please speak up,” she wrote. “I cannot stress this issue enough . Michael was only 13 & I’d rather not have another child lose their life due to these issues.”
“PLEASE SPEAK UP & SAVE A LIFE” Myshaa Crump.
A sad epidemic
Sadly, Michael isn’t the first bullied schoolboy or schoolgirl to take their own life. 14-year-old Amy “Dolly” Everett from Katherine in the Northern Territory committed suicide a year ago. And only eight weeks later, another bullied schoolboy tried to do the same. 12-year-old Brian Birchell from Gympie in Queensland wrapped the cords from his bedroom curtains around his neck. Luckily Brian’s mum found him in time.
Then a few months ago, one brave father posted a video showing his 11 year-old daughter having a panic attack. The cause? Another round of bullying, this time via Snapchat. Like Michael’s mother, apparently this father tried to speak to her school about his daughter being bullied, but nothing was resolved. Brian also saw a counsellor with his family about his bullying, yet it wasn’t enough to stop him later trying to take his own life.
We have to help our kids
Bullying in schools is a major problem both overseas and in Australia. We need everyone from teachers and parents, to peers and family members to take a stronger stance on the issue. And it starts by taking it seriously and speaking up when someone needs help.
Be sure to look for the warning signs that your child is being bullied so you can address it before it’s too late. And if you or anyone you know needs help, please contact:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
Unfortunately, children aren’t the only ones coping – or dishing out – the bullying. Blogger Constance Hall has spoken out after recently becoming a target for cyber bullies.
Find out more information and strategies for how to deal with cyber and face-to-face bullies on ReachOut.com.