Holly Grogan: 15-year jumps to her death after being bullied on Facebook
15-Year old Holly Grogan from Gloucestershire (UK) jumped from a bridge to her death after being bullied by her classmates on Facebook over accusations of having sex with another girls' brother.
Holly's friend of three years said: '"She felt people were mean to her. I felt she was being bullied - they didn't understand how much it affected Holly.
"There were three girls who spread rumours about her and called her names. They even made up a syndrome called 'HGS', Holly Grogan Syndrome, which was put on Facebook and discussed by other girls.
"Holly didn't have access to that because she'd been taken off the group of friends. I forwarded it to her and she was very upset and started crying."Source: www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk
She went to an expensive private school called St Edward's School where her classmates bullied her both face to face and on the famous social networking site, Facebook. On September 16, 2009, she was approached by three classmates who bullied her about the issue and later she was sent a text advising her not to attend a party. She had been extremely upset and hours later, ended up jumping off a 30 feet bridge on to a busy freeway ("dual carriageway").
Interestingly, Holly didn't have many friends and seems like that she made up some stories to get some friends like - she had epilepsy, her brother was dead and her parents were splitting, all of which were untrue. Seems like her lies didn't go very well with a lot of her classmates and a lot of "unpleasant comments" were posted online.
Summing up the case Mr Dooley said: "It was clear that she craved forgiveness for the lies she told and the desperate position she put herself in from a social standpoint, and didn't see a way of getting out of that.
"She was a very kind person and even in her extensive note that she left, she was not at all vindictive to anyone but expressed her love to her family and friends and expressed sorrow that she had not been forgiven by members of her school.Source: www.mirror.co.uk
Yesterday, her father Steve Grogan told an inquest about his regret for not raising the bullying issue earlier at the "£11,000-a-year St Edward's School in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire."
He said: 'Holly was a very spirited girl with a bubbly character and she loved to be loved and liked people to like her. 'Holly was very social and her whole life revolved around friendships.'
Mr Grogan, a builder, said that shortly before she died, his daughter had been pleased to be invited to a fellow pupil's party.
The next day during a PE class three girls accused her of sleeping with a friend's 17-year-old brother, which she denied.
Mr Grogan told the inquest: 'Holly said their questioning and accusations upset her and made her cry. The girls went on to say that Holly shouldn't go the party.'
Recalling the next morning, by which time his daughter's body had been found on the A40, Mr Grogan continued: 'My wife Anita went to wake Holly and noticed her bed hadn't been slept in.
'There was a note on the desk. I believe that it was the events of the day that tipped Holly over the edge.'
In her letter Holly wrote: 'I don't want to name names but I just wish people could learn to forgive and forget and be more considerate to people and let people move on'.Source: www.dailymail.co.uk
Later on, the parents Steve and Anita and brother Tom made the following statement -
In a statement, they said: "Holly struggled to cope with the huge pressures placed upon her by the modern complexities of ''friendship groups'' and social networking.
"I'm sure every responsible parent will empathise with our constant battle to instil self belief and confidence in our children.
"Holly's outwardly vivacious zest for life was apparent to all who knew her. We shared 15 wonderful years with Holly and to us she will be forever young."
This incidence has brought up the following points in my head -
- We all know school and especially high school is tough. Schools can monitor people in school but social networking seem to open a new channel for bullying. Who monitors these social networks?
- Why didn't the parents intervene when the problems were first told?
- Does an expensive school mean a better school?
I would say, talk to your kids regularly and listen to them. Times have changed a lot since we went to high school and it is more important to listen and understand their issues. We might not have all the answers, but we can still prevent them from issues like this.