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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Teen Commits Suicide -- Is Sexting to Blame?

Posted by on Mar. 11, 2009 at 10:51 AM
  • 13 Replies

We're saddened by a story about a teen who hanged herself in her bedroom after an ex-boyfriend disseminated a nude cell-phone photo of her around their Ohio community. Jessica Logan, 18, was harassed daily by other girls calling her "slut" and "whore" and throwing objects at her.

Making It Through
She finished high school last year and went on national television with her face and voice distorted to warn other girls about the potential consequences of taking naked photos of themselves, a mistake Vanessa Hudgens later made.

But two months later, after attending a funeral for another teen who had committed suicide, Jessica went home and took her own life.

A Common Mistake
An oft-cited survey says that 39 percent of teens have sent similar photos of themselves ... and 15 percent of high-school boys say they disseminate the pics after a breakup.

The "Today" show had an "Internet security expert" on hand to warn of the dangers of "sexting" and urge parents to check their kids' cell phones. But isn't the real problem old-fashioned high-school cruelty?
"Sexting" and online bullying may be relatively new, but girls tormenting other girls over their alleged promiscuity has been around forever.

We're glad to hear from the security expert that schools are finally being held liable for bullying (including some cyber-bullying), but we're not sure if that will be enough to keep kids from tormenting each other.

"Mean Girls" has a touching ending, but what can school officials and parents do to help real-life teens make peace? Should we blame technology ... or ourselves?

http://www.lemondrop.com/2009/03/06/teen-commits-suicide-is-sexting-to-blame/

by on Mar. 11, 2009 at 10:51 AM
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Replies (1-10):
forsythia_18
by on Mar. 11, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Yes, bullying as a result of the "sexting" is to blame.  I've made mistakes allowing pictures of me to be taken by an ex boyfriend when I was only a freshman (stupid) but fortunately, if he DID show other people, I never heard about it.  My husband has racy pics of me on his phone but I totally trust him with them.  He doesn't want anybody to see them!! LOL.  But yeah, this is a big problem with teens and it's becoming way more common.  I hope it doesn't become "the norm" with people.

faery33
by on Mar. 11, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Poor girl.  I think, Any girl that lets anyone take a nude picture of her should get a nude photo of the guy at the same time! Then she could turn around and do it to him, if need be. Better to be safe than sorry, right? :)


PurdueMom
by Sherri on Mar. 11, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Last year, my daughter, now a Senior in HS, was a victim of 'sexting'.   She spurned the advances of a rich-kid bully, and he got her back by sending via cell phone a graphic photo of a nude girl whose legs were spread open stating that my daughter had sent him the photo of herself.  The photo was from the jawline down so you couldn't see the face, but the girl in the photo had the same color hair as my daughter, who has red hair.

How did she find out about the picture?  A kid from another high school who knew Kelli's BF, John, called him and told him he had just received a naked picture of Kelli on his cell phone.  It had traveled to at least 4  high schools (that we know of) in less than 3 days.

When Kelli and I went to the girl's dean, she took one look at the picture and was like, "Yeah.  This picture shows up at least once a year with a different student's name attached to it."   The boy was suspended for a week, and the six kids to whom school officials could prove passed it on during school were suspended for 3 days.  Any sending of the picture by a student after school, the school could do nothing about. We never heard a word of apology from any student nor parent, even though the parents of the 7 boys were called in to be informed of what had happened and to escort their sons home for their detentions. 

The result?  Kelli was harrassed for a few days by a few kids, but she just told them she didn't care whether they believed it was her or not.  Her friends knew it wasn't, and that's what mattered to her.  I think by her acting like it was nothing, it blew over relatively quickly.   When the boys returned to school, none of them harrassed her nor did they apologize either.  She no longer talks to any of them, although she was friends with a couple of them.   

As a result, this school years policy regarding cell phones changed.  If a student is caught using his phone during school, it is confiscated -- but now school staff have the right to search the phone.   If a student or parent objects to the search through his cell phone, then he can leave it at home or in his car because all confiscated cell phones will be searched.  I've heard this was also because of the rampant cheating on exams by students using cell phones, as well as the 'sexting'.    

Sherri
SunandMoonMom
by Member on Mar. 11, 2009 at 5:28 PM

You must be very proud of your daughter's strength and courage.  I was often a target of bullying throughout elementary and grade school, because I have cerebral palsy; but once I understood the kids were afraid of my condition bc they didn't understand it...I talked with them about it and let them ask me questions.  My life improved dramatically from that point on.

Girls like your daughter are a wonderful example of teens who understand bullying is most often the result of the bullies' insecurities.  Thank you for sharing your daughter's story...my son  is 2, and we're expecting our second child this Fall.  I'm not particularly looking forward to the school days...but your daughter's attitude gives me hope. ;-)

Quoting PurdueMom:

Last year, my daughter, now a Senior in HS, was a victim of 'sexting'.   She spurned the advances of a rich-kid bully, and he got her back by sending via cell phone a graphic photo of a nude girl whose legs were spread open stating that my daughter had sent him the photo of herself.  The photo was from the jawline down so you couldn't see the face, but the girl in the photo had the same color hair as my daughter, who has red hair.

How did she find out about the picture?  A kid from another high school who knew Kelli's BF, John, called him and told him he had just received a naked picture of Kelli on his cell phone.  It had traveled to at least 4  high schools (that we know of) in less than 3 days.

When Kelli and I went to the girl's dean, she took one look at the picture and was like, "Yeah.  This picture shows up at least once a year with a different student's name attached to it."   The boy was suspended for a week, and the six kids to whom school officials could prove passed it on during school were suspended for 3 days.  Any sending of the picture by a student after school, the school could do nothing about. We never heard a word of apology from any student nor parent, even though the parents of the 7 boys were called in to be informed of what had happened and to escort their sons home for their detentions. 

The result?  Kelli was harrassed for a few days by a few kids, but she just told them she didn't care whether they believed it was her or not.  Her friends knew it wasn't, and that's what mattered to her.  I think by her acting like it was nothing, it blew over relatively quickly.   When the boys returned to school, none of them harrassed her nor did they apologize either.  She no longer talks to any of them, although she was friends with a couple of them.   

As a result, this school years policy regarding cell phones changed.  If a student is caught using his phone during school, it is confiscated -- but now school staff have the right to search the phone.   If a student or parent objects to the search through his cell phone, then he can leave it at home or in his car because all confiscated cell phones will be searched.  I've heard this was also because of the rampant cheating on exams by students using cell phones, as well as the 'sexting'.    


hsteele
by on Mar. 11, 2009 at 8:16 PM

Not every victim of sexting is going to commit suicide. I think there are other issues besides sexting and bullying that contribute. I was bullied and never had suicidal thoughts. Parents need to be aware of what's going on in their children's lives, especially how they handle the stress of it.

Heather

Proud Pagan Mama

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin~

forsythia_18
by on Mar. 11, 2009 at 8:18 PM


Quoting hsteele:

Not every victim of sexting is going to commit suicide. I think there are other issues besides sexting and bullying that contribute. I was bullied and never had suicidal thoughts. Parents need to be aware of what's going on in their children's lives, especially how they handle the stress of it.

Yeah, this is a good point.  it's important to remember that factors can trigger an emotionally unstable person but is not necessarily the direct cause of it.  It's just one of many triggers.

cmarielin
by on Mar. 12, 2009 at 1:02 AM

Oh my gosh - this is horribly sad.  I'm going to make sure my teens read this article. 

 

mommy2isabella
by on Mar. 13, 2009 at 10:16 PM

I think this whole story is sad. I live in a small town and there was a teen girl who sent a picture to a guy she was trying to "hook up with" of her having a dildo in BOTH holes, it got around the whole school and she calls herself "famous anus" now. Her last name was Amos.  

in lovetoddler girlbaby boyHappily married to Erik 04.12 and proud mommy to Isabella Grace 11.01.06 and Camden Bjorn 09.18.08




 




 

dr_m
by on Mar. 13, 2009 at 10:24 PM


Quoting cmarielin:

Oh my gosh - this is horribly sad.  I'm going to make sure my teens read this article. 

 


 i agree, this is so terrible, so sad, and pointless....

.Tiggeroo87.
by on Mar. 14, 2009 at 12:34 AM

 I was bullied too and I never had suicidal thoughts.

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