Sue Scheff: Cyber Tragedy – Teen Suicide

Another teen tragedy that involves sexting, bullying and the horrific end to a young beautiful life. (Photo of Hope Witsell by Edmund D. Fountain of St. Petersburg Times).

According to the St. Petersburg Times, 13 year old Hope Witsell was a typical teen however suffering from inner turmoil that lead to the end of her life.  Hope was taunted by ugly and harassing insults which resulted from a nude photo of herself that was spread via text also known as ‘sexting’.  Although meant for her boyfriend only, this photo soon went viral and school officials suspended her.  She was convinced that tons of people secretly hated her according to her journal.

The St. Petersburg Times also noted: A 2009 Harris online poll shows that one in five teens admits to having sent naked pictures of themselves or others over a cell phone. But even that number may be low.

This is another horrific story that we can learn from.  The question is, why is it taking these tragedies to wake us up?  Here are some tips to help you help your child/teen with online and cell phone safety.  Please know that Love Our Children USA and STOMP Out Bullying is also available for more critical information to keep your children safe.

Parenting 101: Keeping Kids Safe Online

Learn about Internet Predators – in loving memory of Kristin Helms

Teens Taking the Pledge to Fight Bullying and  Cyberbullying

Internet Safety and Guidance Counselors

Internet Things Your Children Should NEVER Know

Parents, TALK to your kids!  There has never been a more urgent time to open up those lines of communications with your kids and teens. 

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