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Don't Let Your Child Follow in Jessi Slaughter's Footsteps

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Lori Getz: Last Friday afternoon, 11-year-old Jessica Leonhardt of Florida (who goes by "Jessi Slaughter" and "Kerligirl13" on YouTube) was taken into police protective custody after her online celebrity became her downfall.

Jessi Slaughter

It all began when she posted a video wherein she said she was fed up with "haters" who continued to attack her online. She referred to them as "bitches" and said they were jealous of how pretty and popular she is. She even made reference to "popping a Glock" and "making a brain slushie" out of anyone who continued to harass her online.

At the time she made the video, Jessica said the online bullying didn't faze her. But after that vlog went viral on StickyDrama (thanks to a group of trolls who had specifically targeted the self-proclaimed Internet celebrity), things got much worse. There were crank calls, prank pizza orders, hacked accounts and even death threats, according to Jessica's mother, Dianne (who gave an exclusive interview to momlogic). Eventually, Jessica's family became distraught, and Jessica and her father went online to fight back (with Jessica crying and her daddy screaming). This video became known as "You Dun Goof'd" and "The Consequences Will Never Be the Same," and was mocked all over the Net.

In her momlogic interview, Dianne admitted to initially being unaware of the videos, and even said that she still has not seen them. She wants to believe her daughter and feels that her daughter is the victim of a horrible online campaign to destroy her. But never does Dianne talk about her role as a parent, or Jessica's role in provoking the situation.

While I am definitely NOT condoning the trolls' behavior, I feel that no 11-year-old (or any tween or teen) should be going online and making videos full of profanity and death wishes. (At one point, Jessica says she hopes that all haters will get AIDS and die.) When are we going to start talking about the real problem here? Why in the world does Jessi Slaughter (the online celebrity) even exist? She may be a very nice girl in the real world, but online she is a horrid young person who is full of herself (not an image I would want my own daughter to portray for the masses).

It's hard, I know, to parent in a realm we were not parented in. We aren't sure what questions we should be asking, or what rules we should be setting. I can't control what other people do, but I can pay attention to what is going on in my own home. Jessica's mom references the fact that all of Jessica's friends have webcams, too, so she didn't think it was a big deal ... but what are they doing on the webcams is the real question. No, you can't be with them 24/7, but has there ever been a question about what Jessica does online when her parents are not at home or are in the other room? Anyone checked the Web history lately?

We don't let our children walk out the front door without asking them where they're going, who they're going with, what time they will be home and even what they're wearing. I call it "My Father's Famous Four Questions." (I never went anywhere until he had the answer to those questions.) We need to be translating those same parenting skills to the cyberworld.

In the case of Jessica Leonhardt, the final question might be the most important: What is Jessi wearing? How is she presenting herself to the world online? Jessi attracted a kind of negative online attention that drew real-world consequences.

Life lesson here: Don't let an 11-YEAR-OLD have free rein over the home computer and a webcam. Make sure the family computer is in a public place, and monitor what your kids are doing online. In this Internet age, it's up to parents to protect kids from themselves.


next: After 98 Years, a Makeover for the Girl Scouts
45 comments so far | Post a comment now
Justin July 21, 2010, 4:14 AM

Umm…apparently you guys are forgetting the fact that…SHE POSTED NAKED PICS OF HERSELF ON THE INTERNET…she also had some of her girlfriend from 4th grade(shes bi)..she claimed to have been molested by Dahvie..and I think shes telling the truth since he did it to others..also she was seen in one vid as getting PCP from her dad…I REALLY doubt this girl is innocent. Forget being 11. She needs to be taken from her parents and given counseling…

Seer July 21, 2010, 4:29 AM

If I was that girl’s father, I would not let her anywhere near a computer even when she becomes an adult. Hell, I wouldn’t even let her move out of the house when she turns 18.

Janice July 21, 2010, 5:21 AM

No, she did not do PCP, nor was it given to her by her father. It was a ruse devised to put it as a hot trending topic on Google searches, nothing more

Yes, there is a very inappropriate picture online. I am baffled as to how that was completely left out of the interview with her mother. But then again, perhaps that’s what was being alluded to when she said her daughter was upset that ” someone had posted a photo of her over the Internet using her head with someone else’s body.”

Mmhm. Sure.

Parents are to blame for being hands off, oblivious, and preferring to disbelieve their child can do any wrong. I know what it feels like to have a miracle child after being told you cannot have children. But parenting in this fashion does the child a tremendous disservice. You want your children to grow and develop to become successful adults—well, she hasn’t even become a teenager and so much has gone wrong.

Remove the computer, any access to social networking (Jessica had a chat room open last night already!?), taking away any camera including a cellphone one is best.

A stern, old fashioned grounding. Scare tactics (particularly involving young children poking provocative things) sometimes work.

Sit down and WATCH THE VIDEOS. View the photos she took. Read her comments, her Twitter, her blog, Myspace—EVERYTHING. And while you’re at it, why not take a listen to the lyrics written by that nice band boy she “befriended.”

Pay attention to your child’s life.

Paste July 21, 2010, 6:18 AM

This comment has been reviewed and deleted by the Cyber Police.

hotpinkrocks July 21, 2010, 7:34 AM

Jessi Slaughter’s parents fail at life.
Her Mom’s interview on this site yesterday, was nothing short of pathetic. All she did was cry victim.
This 11 yr old girl is the victim, of horrible parenting.
It’s really sad that 4chan and the rest of the Internet, had to teach this little girl a lesson that her parents completely neglected to teach her.

Kristin July 21, 2010, 8:42 AM

I said it in the last article and I’ll say it again. I hope she comes out somewhere close to OK but she brought this on herself. Her parents are a disgrace, she is a disgrace and, sadly, HER children will probably be a disgrace as well if something doesn’t get sorted out here.

Gigohead  July 21, 2010, 9:32 AM

I have a simple solution…get rid of the computer. Keep her off any websites, webcam, make sure her teachers understand what is going on so she doesn’t browse in school. Then this whole persona will be forgotten. She’s got a bad Tila Tequilla narcissistic personality.

@Kristen July 21, 2010, 9:38 AM

She may have brought it on herself, but the blame lies squarely on her parents. This is clearly a very lost little girl. I’m sure a lot of the stuff she was talking about she heard from Dahvie Vanity and his godawful “band”. Why were her parents even allowing her to hang out with them?

Even now she is the victim of bad parenting, because they refuse to look at what she did and discuss it with her. There’s a lot more going on under the surface and she needs to talk to somebody about it.

gouki July 21, 2010, 9:58 AM

she screwed her life up at age 11.

she should just shave her head
and move to Greenland or Iceland
and eat Twinkies so no one will
recognize her.

janice July 21, 2010, 10:17 AM

Hello,

People must understand that the /b/ forum is more of an underground meeting place, the dive bar of the internet. This judgment of her character was mainly from her peers, or children not much older. Also by posting articles like this, you are only feeding the trolls.

Carol July 21, 2010, 11:50 AM

The only trolls are her miserable parents who over indulge their “miracle” baby even after it was shown that their “parenting” method is a failure.

xanee July 21, 2010, 12:49 PM

This comment has been reviewed and deleted by the Cyber Police.

anonymous July 21, 2010, 3:33 PM

Oh, dear.

Jessi…
YOU DUN GOOF’D
CONSEQUENCES WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!


On another note, good job /b/. It’s a shame that this girl had to be an example, but she deserved it.

Anonymous July 21, 2010, 3:52 PM

Because I Backtraced it!

Anonymous July 21, 2010, 4:34 PM

This is why parents need to beat their kids.

Anonymous July 21, 2010, 5:24 PM

Lets not forget, she lied on every website she is registered to since she is under 13, therefore subjected to the COPPA laws. Her parents, knowing now what has been happening, should have take responsible steps and accepted a part of the responsibility (mainly, taking the computer away from her immediately). Instead she is still posting content at various websites.

This is a parental failure if you ask me. There is no mom logic in this story.

Ebaumsworld July 21, 2010, 9:00 PM

Good job Ebaumsworld! We did it yet again

Natalie July 21, 2010, 9:38 PM

I am absolutely DISGUSTED that this “cyberbullying” bs is going to be on Good Morning America tomorrow (7/22)! I will bet any amount of money that GMA says NOTHING about her naked picture or the videos that provoked the bullying to begin with.

This little girl needs to learn that respect goes a long way, first of all, and that every action has a consequence, including hers. Her parents have a very important lesson to learn as well. I’m glad there are still people out there that find this little brat ridiculous.

Dark Warlord July 21, 2010, 9:55 PM

This comment has been back traced and deleted by the Cyber Police :(


anonymous July 21, 2010, 11:07 PM

The parents done goof’ed. A properly raised child would not behave like that and incur the wrath of the internet.


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