THE DANGERS OF TEEN AGE TEXTING and ONLINE
In September 2009, a 13-year-old girl in Florida named Hope Witsell hanged herself. Raised in a rural Florida suburb, she was the only child of a church-going couple who met in the post office where they're both employed. Hope's suicide became the second with a clear link to sexting and the peer torture that can follow from it. At the end of seventh grade last spring, Hope sent a photo of her breasts to a boy she liked, and the picture went viral at her school. "Tons of people talk about me behind my back and I hate it because they call me a whore!" Hope wrote in her journal before her death.
Jessie Logan, who was 18 and lived outside Cincinnati, hanged herself last July after nude photos she sent to her boyfriend circulated widely among teenagers she knew. What explains this awful chain of events that leads to tragedy? Is this just the usual bullying, only with different tools, or a distinct harm unto itself? And are these isolated cases or legitimate cause for the wider uproar over sexting?
Points To Consider:
With each technological change in our student's lives, we must consider the positive and negative consequences. Parents need to monitor, and if warranted, modify the texting features of their kids to ensure their kids are doing the right things at the right times.