Ryan Halligan and Cyber-Bullying
Ryan Halligan was a 13-year-old student who had attended Middle School and resided in Essex Junction, Vermont. While enrolled within school, reports state that Ryan Halligan was the target of merciless bullying, which occurred both on school grounds, as well as through the facilitation of the Internet.
Accounts detailing the abuse and harassment suffered by Ryan Halligan include verbal abuse undertaking attacks on his alleged homosexuality, as well as the learning disorder from which he suffered.
The nature and frequency of the bullying suffered by Ryan Halligan are considered to be the reasons behind his suicide. The suicide of Ryan Halligan is considered to be the first reported case of suicide resulting from Cyber-Bullying in the United States of America.
What is Cyber-Bullying?
Cyber-Bullying is an act of harassment and abuse that takes place within a digital setting, which most commonly is classified as Internet or Online-based forums. This type of verbal, emotional debasement directed at the victim is a nature of abuse that can come from both acquaintances of the victim, as well as individuals who have never met the victim.
In the case of Ryan Halligan, his father reports that his son received an onslaught of online correspondence from fellow students in which they insulted, harassed, and abused him. The nature of this abuse ranged from attacks on Halligan’s sexuality to his physical stature.
Who was Ryan Halligan?
Ryan Halligan took his own life on October 7th, 2003. He took his own life by hanging himself in his home. Ryan Halligan was 13 years old.
Case Details of Ryan Halligan’s Suicide
The following information details the events that transpired both leading up to the suicide of Ryan Halligan, as well as the after-effects of Ryan Halligan’s suicide:
Although Ryan Halligan seldom reported the Cyber-Bullying that he had experienced to his father, his father had installed software on the family computer allowing him to monitor his son’s online activity. Halligan’s father soon learned of the egregious abuse that befell his son, including measures enacted by his fellow classmates attempting to obtain personal information about Ryan.
Furthermore, Ryan Halligan’s father discovered correspondence undertaken in which Ryan Halligan discussed suicide with a friend over the Internet. However, when confronted, Ryan Halligan denied the desire to take his own life.
Subsequent to Ryan Halligan’s suicide, the State of Vermont enacted the following legislation in order to prevent future occurrences of bullying:
The Bullying Prevention Policy Law (2004); and
The Suicide Prevention Law; Act 114 (2005).
Cyber-Bullying and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community
The LGBT Community is an advocacy group operating as a Civil Rights group in order to both protect and preserve the unalienable rights afforded to citizens who classify themselves as homosexual. With regard to Ryan Halligan’s tragic suicide and the existence of hate-based bullying and intimidation, the LGBT Community serves a means of protection against inequity and injustices suffered by them as a result of undue prejudice, bias, and hate.
Assistance for Victims of Cyber-Bullying
Individuals who have been the victims of Cyber-Bullying, as well as those who have been made aware of events of Cyber-Bullying, are encouraged to contact the National Crime Prevention Council through their telephone number: (202) 466-6272. In the event that an individual wishes not to be named, reports of Cyber-Bullying can be conducted anonymously.
Cyber-Bullying is a very real and growing concern within modernity and the tragic events that befell Ryan Halligan and should not be repeated. There is help available – no one ever deserves to be victimized.