As the sexting trend continues to grow, girls find themselves tortured to death over private photos gone public. Our community speaks out on the sexting suicide of Hope Witsell, 13, who sent a topless photo of herself to a boy she liked. Most agreed that bullying was at the heart of the issue.
Let's just hope that her death is not in vain and that it becomes a lesson for other teens. That way her memory would be something good for the world. -- Anonymous
The thing that needs to be addressed is bullying. Administrators and teachers continue to turn a blind eye to this behavior. I wonder if there have been any repercussions for the boy who sent the picture out. Not likely. The girls who were bullying her are guilty of manslaughter, in my opinion. It isn't a "sexting" issue. It's a bullying issue. -- talis4
The bullying is bad enough, but her parents grounding her and the school punishing her on top of it took away anything she could use for support or distraction. This was mistake on top of mistake on top of mistake. -- Anonymous
I agree 100% talis4. The bullying issue is one constantly overlooked in the schools, even when they claim a no-tolerance stance against it. She did something stupid. There is not one person who reads momlogic (or breathes, for that matter) who can claim they have never done something stupid that they shouldn't have. The further humiliation should have been harshly dealt with, and the school should be ashamed of themselves for only punishing her and not the bratty little snotwad boy who basically distributed child pornography. -- Mother Nature
This is so sad, and so horrifying. It seems that earlier and earlier in life, when girls are too young to deal with it in a healthy way, they are being forced to internalize this message: "Girls are less than human, so you must be overtly sexy to be worth anything, but if you're overtly sexy, you're a sl*t and you're less than human." How awful that girls feel compelled to go to such extremes to impress boys, how awful that boys think it's OK to humiliate and objectify girls this way, and how awful that other girls aid and abet this. I really wish there were more guidance on how to raise both boys and girls to prevent these things from happening -- I think this type of character education has to start much earlier than just having some talk during the tween years. Maybe that is already too late. -- michelle
Let's be real. This poor girl committed suicide after a steady diet of "tough love" and a humiliating suspension from school her first week after the summer. Instead of reaching out and being supportive, the grown-ups in her life turned and helped make her life a torment until the pressures became too much and she hanged herself in her bedroom. Without a doubt, sending naked pictures is poor judgment, but she killed herself because of how people treated her. -- Legal Observer