TRAGIC teenager Megan Gillan age 15 took an overdose and died after she was bullied on the internet.
Georgia Woods, 13
WHEN I started secondary school I got on with lots of people.
But I fell out with one of my friends and everyone seemed to turn against me.
The bullies at school started leaving nasty messages on Bebo, calling me fat or ugly. They created online groups to join called “I hate Georgia Woods” and called me a s*** or a w****.
At first I thought it would blow over but after a couple of weeks I started to get worried.
I didn’t tell my mum at first as I didn’t want to worry her.
Home is where you’re supposed to feel safe, but instead I was upset and scared.
I started to wonder if what they were saying was true, and it got to the stage where I had no friends at school. I’d eat my lunch quickly on my own, then run to the toilets and cry.
“When I was at home on my own I’d switch all the lights off and just scream.
I even put my school tie around the toilet door to try to hang myself, but couldn’t go through with it.
My mum decided to decorate my bedroom as a surprise while I was away on a school camping trip last summer and she found some poems and drawings I had done about what was going on.
When I got home she and my dad talked everything through with me. I felt much better afterwards.
I’ve had counselling and I’ve had to change my phone number after I got horrible texts and phone calls.
Mum deleted my Bebo page. Cyberbullies are total cowards, as they hide behind the internet to insult you.
Julianne Flory, 19
IT all started at secondary school when I was 12.
During a basketball match in PE there was a girl on the opposite team who resented our side winning.
From then on she and a few accomplices made my life a misery.
By the time I turned 15 they were targeting me on the internet.
I’d built a personal website for my friends to access.
One day I found the message page littered with insults.
There were various comments about my appearance, another posting said I was a lesbian and that they hoped I’d die a slow and painful death.
Threats were common. On one occasion the user said they’d like to pull my fingernails out.
The longest posting was a full A4 page of insults that had obviously taken some time to write.
I was upset and scared. It was bad enough facing them in school, but now they could get me in my own home.
My parents reported what was happening to my teachers and eventually two girls were moved to other schools.
I was relieved, but one night I was on MSN Messenger and received a death threat.
My parents went to the police and eventually we got harassment orders issued against both girls. That meant they couldn’t come near me or my family or try to make contact.
Things have been fine for three years.
I’ve rebuilt my confidence and recently started a new job as a lifeguard in a local leisure centre.
Social networking sites need more moderators who step in and put a stop to bullying.
The sites should also make it more obvious where help can be obtained.
I’ve been punched, kicked in the head, called names and even had my thumb broken.
My mum took me out of school two years ago as it was so bad I was constantly playing truant.
I once jumped over two sets of gates to get away — I couldn’t stand to be there any more.
The online bullying started when I was 12 or 13, when I got my own Bebo page and started chatting to my friends online on MSN. The people who were bullying me at school suddenly had access to me at home too and started to call me names while chatting online.
They would create an alias, pretend to be me, then send abusive messages to others.
They left messages on my web page calling me a slag or a slapper, then created online groups dedicated to calling me names.
They covered my internet page with swearwords and took the mickey out of my appearance.
It made me feel really angry and depressed but I didn’t want to delete my Bebo page. I have the right to be online as much as anyone else.
The internet was the place I could contact the people I was still friends with, but the bullies were even trying to take that from me.Stress
I tried slitting my wrists and even hanging myself from my bedroom window, but luckily my mum found me.
My hair began to fall out through the stress of what I was going through, and although I tried counselling nothing seemed to work.
I’ve changed my mobile phone number ten times as I was getting abusive texts and I’m afraid to go into town or to the cinema on my own in case I bump into the girl who’s behind it all.
I want to move house, go to college and study journalism when I’m old enough and get my life back.
I know lots of other teenagers go through this and I’d say to them to speak to someone about it, a close friend or family member.
Talking to people can really help you to get through it.