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Hope Witsell: Another Bullying Tragedy

By paulabernstein |

Hope Witsell

Hope Witsell: Bullying Tragedy

Kids can be cruel. In the case of Hope Witsell, a 13-year-old girl attending middle school in Florida, her classmates’ cruelty led to her suicide last year.

It all began when Witsell “sexted” her then boyfriend. The revealing photo was circulated and classmates began to taunt her. According to CNN, they even set up a Facebook “Hope Hater Page.”

Things become unbearable for Hope, who feared for her safety.

Kyla Stich, Witsell’s friend, told CNN that fellow students would “walk up to her and call her ‘slut,’ ‘whore,’ and they would sometimes, they would call her ‘skank’ and just be really cruel to her.”

Determined to prevent other parents’ from experiencing the loss of a child due to bullying, Hope’s mother, Donna Witsell, started Hope’s Warriors, a group that will work to combat bullying.

“It happened to my daughter, it can happen to yours too. No one is untouchable. No one is untouchable,” Donna Witsell told CNN.

As my Famecrawler colleague Emma Brady writes, “Parents can help stop schoolyard bullying by taking a proactive roll in their kids lives – both online and offline.”

But sadly, that’s not enough. We need to educate our kids about the dangers of bullying in person and online.

All week at 10 pm ET, CNN’s ”AC360°” is airing a special report on the dangers of bullying and what we can do to stop it.

Let’s ensure that there are no more names to add to the list of young people who took their lives because of bullying: Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Ty Smalley, and Hope Whitsell.

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photo: Facebook

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About paulabernstein



Paula Bernstein is a freelance writer and social media manager with a background in entertainment journalism. She is also the co-author of Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited.

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3 thoughts on “Hope Witsell: Another Bullying Tragedy

  1. Priya says:

    Can Kyla Stich give us the name of the kids who bullied this girl?. Such students are such a disgrace to the their school and the society. They must be born to whores or raised by them. According to me all these kids and their parents failed : in being good responsible people. Such and such is the case of an educated society – and we talk about how other culture people are so bad.

  2. He_who_is_cool says:

    Not necessarily that their parents were too, but indeed, the parents did fail to instruct this poor girl on safety in technology. People act like it’s just the internet that poses a threat, but ANY social technology can really mess you up.

    I think it is safe to say that little kids need to be taught about these things, but that’s hard when the adults of today didn’t grow up with such things.

  3. Advice says:

    If you are seen as different – it is already too late. No evidence necessary. It takes nothing more than talk to get the ball rolling. At this point you got to stand up for yourself. A simple eat shit is sufficient. Otherwise, your silence will be interpreted as proof of guilt and you will be persecuted.

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