BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is an editorial from WBRC FOX6 News General Manager Collin Gaston, which first aired on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018:
I read a story this morning about a 14-year-old Australian girl that took her own life after being cyber bullied. Sadly, this is not the first time I've read accounts of young people taking their lives after being bullied by a coward behind a keyboard, but it is the first time I've ever heard of parents using their own keyboards to invite the bullies to their daughter's funeral. Their reason for inviting their daughter's tormentors was for them to be witness to the "devastation you have created."
"Dolly" as her parents affectionately referred to her in the Facebook post, "was the kindest, caring, beautiful soul and she was always caring for animals, small children, other children at boarding school less fortunate than herself." The message went onto to say, "Before Dolly died, she completed a drawing and wrote the words, 'stand up, speak even if your voice shakes'."
To all the "bullies" out there, your words hurt; your words can even kill. This is why I will continue to use this editorial platform at least once a year, every year to bring attention to the devastation wreaked by bullying. If talking about this most recent tragedy wakes one cyber bully up to the fact that your posted word is as mighty as a hurled fist then it was worth it.
Now to the most important audience, those being bullied. If you are under attack, you are worthy and special. Seek help from friends and family and never feel like you've got to go it alone and try and draw strength from the poignant and profound words from a 14-year-old named "Dolly": stand up, speak even if your voice shakes.