A 13-year-old boy, Zach Corona, was found lifeless in his living room by his mother, Lynda Amos, on January 1st, after smoking a vaporizer that was later discovered to be contaminated with fentanyl. Zach had been complaining of chest issues before his tragic death, and upon being brought to the hospital by his mother, it was discovered that he had suffered a stroke and required life support. The paramedics had to remove Zach’s pants, where the vape pen was discovered. Medical professionals later found that fentanyl, a lethal painkiller, and marijuana had been added to the vaporizer.
Zach claimed that he had been given the vape by a group of adolescents who had bullied him into smoking it and threatened to beat him up if he did not conceal it for them. Zach, who was bewildered by the actions of his so-called friends, said he had been slapped and called names. After coming out of a coma, he underwent speech, physical, and occupational therapy at Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Despite some improvements, Zach suffered from seizures, damage to the right side of his brain, lost vision in his right eye, and lost the function of his left arm. He had to relearn fundamental skills such as talking, counting, and maintaining his balance.
Lynda, who was heartbroken by her son’s condition, was told by the doctors that Zach “won’t ever be the same child he was.” She is now organizing a fundraiser to pay for Zach’s medical expenses and to raise awareness of the need for parents to take action against bullying. She advised parents to be cautious and attentive to their children, and to take action if their children report being bullied. She emphasized that the number of other individuals that these kids have harmed is unknown, and if they harm another child, they may not return as Zach did.
Bullying has become a significant problem in schools and online platforms. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately one in five students report being bullied. The effects of bullying can be devastating, and in some cases, can lead to suicide or homicide. Bullying can take many forms, such as physical, verbal, and cyberbullying. Physical bullying includes hitting, pushing, or any form of physical aggression. Verbal bullying involves name-calling, teasing, or mocking. Cyberbullying involves the use of electronic devices or social media to harass, intimidate, or humiliate others.
Bullying can have long-lasting consequences for the victim, including physical, emotional, and mental health issues. Victims of bullying may suffer from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and PTSD. They may also experience difficulties in their relationships with others and have trouble trusting people. Children who are bullied are at a higher risk of developing substance abuse problems, engaging in criminal activities, and dropping out of school.
Parents, teachers, and school administrators play a crucial role in preventing bullying. Parents should talk to their children about bullying and teach them to treat others with kindness and respect. They should also monitor their children’s social media and electronic device usage and report any instances of cyberbullying. Teachers and school administrators should provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and intervene when bullying occurs. They should also educate students about the harmful effects of bullying and the importance of treating others with empathy and understanding.