Moms of Teens Lost To Cyberbullying and Suicide Band Together, Attend and Testify at U.S. Senate Judiciary Hearing To Protect Our Children Online

February 14th, 2023

  • There are 54.2 million school-aged children in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control indicates that reports of cyberbullying are highest in middle schools (33%) followed by high schools (30%), combined schools (20%), and primary schools (5%).
  • Using conservative CDC estimates, that’s more than 10.8 million children across the United States experiencing cyberbullying by the time they finish high school.
  • Clinical studies suggest that adolescents and teens who are cyberbullied are up to 4x more likely to inflict self-harm, attempt or commit suicide.1,2,3,4

What: Kristin Bride will be testifying at the U.S. Senate Judiciary’s “Protecting Our Children Online” hearing in Washington D.C. today speaking about the loss of her son Carson Bride and giving voice to other grieving families like Rose Bronsteinand Christine McComas – both moms that will be in attendance and who also lost their children after they were cyberbullied. These mothers are there to support the passage of the Federal Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) to help create safety guardrails for children online and require social media companies to maintain a duty of care to children.

Who: Kristin Bride of Oregon is a nationally recognized social media reform advocate whose family’s story was first told in the U.S. Congressional hearings on social media company practices on October 26, 2021. She has been a major social media safety advocate after she lost her son Carson Bride, age 16, to suicide on June 23, 2020, after he received anonymous messages from his high school “Snapchat Friends” who were using the anonymous apps Yolo and LMK to hide their identities. Carson received over 100 threatening, sexually explicit and humiliating messages in the weeks leading to his suicide. The last search on his phone before he ended his life was for “hacks” to find out the names of his tormentors. At a state level, Kristin testified to pass Carson’s Law that now requires Oregon school districts to report incidents of bullying to the parents of both the victim and the aggressor. Kristin collaborates with Fairplay for Kids, Parents Together and the Organization for Social Media Safety. She also serves on the Council for Responsible Social Media in Washington, D.C.

Rose Bronstein is a founding board member of Buckets Over Bullying, a non-profit hoops-centric initiative whose mission is to stop cyberbullying of children and teens through education, lawmaking, and legal action, formed after her 15-year-old son Nate was lost to suicide on January 13, 2022. In the months prior, Nate faced vicious attacks, harassment and threats of physical harm by a group of classmates/teammates over text and social media, including messages directing Nate that he should die and to “Go Kill Yourself!” Her mission is to honor her son’s legacy by standing against cyberbullying and preventing other families from suffering the pain of such tragedies. Rose and her husband Rob live in Chicago with their family.

Christine McComas of Maryland is a nationally recognized anti-cyberbullying advocate who with her husband Dave and their family helped push through Grace’s Law and Grace’s Law 2.0 in Maryland in 2013 and 2019 that makes cyberbullying with the intent to induce a minor to commit suicide a misdemeanor punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Christine lost her 15-year-old daughter Grace McComas to suicide on Easter Sunday 2012 after months of being cyberbullied online and at school.

When: Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at 11:00 AM EST

Where: Hart Senate Office Building Room 216, 224 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 or online at:

Why: After losing their sons to suicide as a result of vicious and relentless cyberbullying, now Kristin, Rose, and Christine and other moms are on a mission to do everything in their power to make sure this doesn’t happen to another innocent child. Across the U.S., there are innumerable instances of digitally connected 10–19-year-olds who have taken their own lives after being cyberbullied. When thinking about this national crisis that is killing our nation’s youth, consider this:

  • Suicide is the No. 2 killer of teens in the U.S.
  • Teens using social media more than 5 hours a day were 70% more likely to have suicidal thoughts or actions than those who reported one hour of daily use.
  • Teens using social media every day are 14% more likely to be depressed than those who use social media less frequently.
  • 34% of students report experiencing cyberbullying during their lifetime.
  • At least 20% of cyberbullied kids think about suicide, and 10% attempt it.

Statement of Buckets Over Bullying 

The spirits of Nate Bronstein, 15, Carson Bride, 16, Grace McComas, 15 and David Molak, 16 and dozens of other teens and their grieving families across the nation lost after being cyberbullied all deserve meaningful accountability and change to the status quo.

Cyberbullying is harming and contributing to the real-world suicides of digitally connected 10-19 year olds at alarming rates. Words, reports and fragmented, and insufficient state laws and policies, some bearing the names of lost children like Carson, Grace and David, are no longer enough.

Adriana Kuch, 14, of Bayville, NJ is among the latest in a growing list of teens lost to suicide in the past decade after being cyberbullied. Adriana passed away two days after videos of her being attacked and assaulted by classmates at her high school were posted across social media. Police were not contacted by school or district officials following the video-taped assault, and subsequent community uproar by parents and students demanded the school district to improve how it handles allegations of all forms of bullying. It was only after public outrage and a demand for action that any accountability happened.

Troublingly, our kids, parents, our schools and our laws remain fragmented, and ill-equipped to address this crisis as things currently stand. What varying rules and law we do have at the state level – some of them unenforced or ignored all together – do little but require lots of reporting with little or no real enforcement or accountability or deterrable programs or penalties for the cyberbullies, their enablers or the social media platforms including Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and Tik Tok. that spread the hate that is killing our kids.

The fact is this: cyberbullying and cyber abuse are contributing to our nation’s developing youth mental health crisis at levels not experienced before. In a recent New York Times article, Dr. Victor Fornari, the vice chair of child and adolescent psychiatry for Northwell Health, New York’s largest health system, said that the number of adolescents coming to the emergency room at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, where he practices, has increased dramatically in recent decades. In 1982, there were 250 emergency room visits by suicidal adolescents. By 2010, the number had increased to 3,000. By 2022, it was 8,000. The first smartphone was released in 2012.

Although its full impact on adolescents’ mental health is still unknown, the NYT article quotes Dr. Fornari saying, there is “no question” of an association between the use of social media and the dramatic increase in suicidal behavior and depressive mood. “Kids are now vulnerable to cyberbullying and critical comments, like ‘I hate you,’ ‘Nobody likes you,'” he said. “It’s like harpoons to their heart every time.”

A mound of evidence of this growing deadly problem is there. We all must demand more for our children and the health and wellbeing of families. Buckets Over Bullying and the parents, teens and community leaders involved each want to be part of bringing forth a solution designed for our digital times – and we hope many concerned others will join us too.

It is time to disrupt the status quo and push society out of its reactive response into a proactive stance against cyber abuse. Every stakeholder in this equation should be held accountable including cyberbullies, their families, schools and school administrators. Federal lawmakers on a bipartisan basis must do their part by heading President Biden’s 2023 State of the Union call to protect kids by holding tech and social media companies accountable, prioritizing the privacy and wellbeing of young people above profit and revenue in their product design, including safety by design standards and practices for online platforms, products, and services. No longer should federal lawmakers allow tech platforms to use manipulative design techniques embedded in their products to promote addictive and compulsive use by young people in the name of “user engagement” – all to generate more revenue. Passage of the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) and amending and ending liability protections afforded tech and social media platforms under Section 230 (originally part of the Communications Decency Act) must happen. The wellbeing of our developing children’s brain health deserves no less.

About Buckets Over Bullying:

Buckets Over Bullying is a non-profit initiative of The Bronstein Family Foundation whose mission is to eliminate cyberbullying of children and teens. The sports-centric initiative is a call to action following the untimely death of Nate Bronstein, a 15-year-old Chicago student tragically lost to suicide on January 13, 2022, after being relentlessly cyberbullied and told to “Go kill yourself” by classmates and teammates through text messages and Snapchat at a Chicago independent school. Through education, lawmaking and legal action, Buckets Over Bullying seeks to prevent what happened to 15-year-old Nate and countless others, encourage upstanding digital citizenship, and advocate for the accountability of cyberbullies and those who enable them.

For more information and cyberbullying and social media safety resources teens, parents and educators visit:

1 A 2022 National Institutes of Health (NIH)-backed clinical study of more than 10,000 kids found that kids who experience cyberbullying face a measurable increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts
2Targets of cyberbullying are at a greater risk than others of both self-harm and suicidal behaviors (John et al., 2018)
3Students who experienced bullying or cyberbullying are nearly 2 times more likely to attempt suicide (Hinduja & Patchin, 2018)
4Suicide ideation and attempts among adolescents have nearly doubled since 2008 (Plemmons et al., 2018)

For more information:
Jami Schlicher, JConnelly or (973) 647-0655

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