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Feeling Sick to My Stomach

30 November 2007

Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo; it’s also the last Gratitude Griday. But I won’t be blogging about either of those today. I can’t. Not after having read this article at the New York Times:

A Hoax Turned Fatal Draws Anger but No Charges

Please go read it. It’s not long. Then you can come back for my rant.

Lori Drew, your actions have resulted in a permanent withdrawal of your membership in the human race.

What the hell sort of adult does this to a kid? And then seems to show no remorse about it. It’s never OK for parents to play mind games with children, their own or someone else’s. I am (mostly) speechless. Sure, I could throw around a bucketful of profanity, and that might make me feel better for a little while. But what about Megan Meier? She’s dead, and she died as far from peacefully as you could make her. She was thirteen years old. Thirteen. What kind of adult plays such a repulsive hoax to such an extreme? Clearly, no sort of adult in my world view.

I read the article out loud to the girls and the Consort this morning. To the girls because they are entering this minefield we call “the teen years”, when little things like peer relationships and belonging balloon to monumental importance for these young people. At a time in their lives when teens don’t yet have the experience to understand the triviality of popularity, but when modern technology feeds the mob mentality so that a thirteen year old can be bombarded with profanity-laden messages from strangers who had professed themselves “friends” and therefore begins to feel overwhelmed by the hate.

Sure, as the Consort reminded me, it is not a crime to create an online alias. It is not a crime to pretend to be something you aren’t, simply to “mess with” a kid.

But, hey, Dardenne Prairie, Missouri — how about a good old-fashioned Shunning? That’s not against the law, either.

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