Judge Tom Jacobs is a retired and very experienced juvenile court judge. He lives in Arizona and is the founder and host of a website entitled Ask the Judge. Judge Tom makes his time and expertise available online to young people who are looking for answers to some of their problems (especially legal ones), knowing they do not have to give their names.
As you will see, Judge Tom is also a merchant of hope. He contacted me this week, sharing an email he had received. I’m sure you will agree that this young person was at a desperate point; he or she didn’t see many options left.
Since this young person can remain anonymous, I asked Judge Tom if we could share this question sent to him, as well as his answer, on The Changing Behavior Network. It is important to reinforce the fact that issues of bullying and thoughts of suicide in our young people are very real everyday. –JDS
I am very suicidal and I am bullied very bad and I really need help I have asked teachers and I have talked to the therapist and it does not help and I have been feeling more depressed lately and I have been thinking about ending it but can I file against the people who bully me (sic)
Dear Writer: First, understand that help in your situation is available to you. Suicide is definitely not the answer or the way to deal with your bullying or depression. It may end your pain, but think of the pain it would cause those who love you and care about you. Keep talking with your parents, teachers and therapist. Tell them exactly what’s going on and how it makes you feel.
The answer to your question is “Yes;” you can take measures against the bullies. But you need your parents sto help with this. They can talk to the school or the police about protecting you. They can go to court and ask the judge for a protective order that would be sent to the bullies. There are ways to put a stop to bullying, but only if you tell someone what’s going on who can take action on your behalf. Stay strong and believe that things will get better. We care about you and your well-being. Stay in touch with us–we’ll be thinking about you.
(This is information only — not legal advice.)
Judge Tom Jacobs is the founder and host of Ask the Judge [website]. He is the author of a number of books, including Teen Cyberbullying Investigated and What Are My Rights?
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