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Jessi Slaughter: A Teachable Moment

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Dr. Michelle Golland: The parents of Jessica Leonhardt, the 11-year-old girl who recently posted an extremely offensive YouTube video, are in serious denial about the issues related to their young daughter. She is a troubled and angry tween who is clearly in need of counseling. Honestly, the parents also need some serious intervention as well. No child posts this type of video unless she is struggling with conflicts with peers or has low self-esteem. It seems that Jessi's young life was spinning out of control -- virally, no less. It also appears that Jessi had posted sexually explicit photos of herself, which is of serious concern given her very young age.

Jessi Slaughter

Dianne Leonhardt, Jessi's mother, was recently interviewed by momlogic -- and she appears to be in total denial. Jessi's father is out of control and unable to keep his anger and emotions in check, even on video. The fact that Jessi's parents posted a YouTube video in response to their daughter's viral video shows that they are modeling this immature behavior to their child. 

I hope the Department of Children and Family Services becomes involved, because it can be an opportunity for these parents to receive counseling on the importance of being more connected and diligent parents to their young daughter. It seems that Jessi is desperately crying out for help in a very dangerous way. The lack of supervision seems unequivocal at this point.

It is disturbing that Dianne has not viewed the videos. Jessi must be held accountable by her parents for her behavior -- and how, as a mother, do you address any of the concerns without viewing what your child has actually posted?

The mother's complacency about not being able to watch her daughter 24/7 is an old excuse that, as we know, just doesn't fly anymore. There are many ways to control what your kids do on the computer, starting with: She doesn't use it unless you are in the room with her, no cameras are allowed, or the computer is simply taken away from her. Given what has taken place, it is obvious that Jessi should not be allowed on the computer at all.

As parents, we can use this as a teachable moment for our tweens and teenagers. I would suggest having a discussion about viral videos and how dangerous posting pictures of yourself can be. Videos and pictures can spin out of control, and the damage can never be undone. You could show parts of Jessi's YouTube video to your kids to illustrate how ridiculous and offensive Jessi is being. Ask them what they think of her attitude and behavior. You can discuss how it seems that she felt bullied as well, and how ineffective her response (and that of her parents) was. It could also allow you to ask about any bullying or cyberbullying they or their friends may have experienced.

Teenagers don't understand the consequences of their actions, and this story allows you to play it out for them in a very concrete manner. Will Jessi Slaughter's life EVER be the same?

next: No, I'm Not Having a Second Kid -- Get Over It!
25 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous July 22, 2010, 2:59 AM

I’m guessing the consequences shall never be the same.

Anonymous July 22, 2010, 3:05 AM

She is not even a teenager…

Anonymous July 22, 2010, 3:06 AM

She dun goofed

ellie July 22, 2010, 3:11 AM

How on earth can you justify this article and then have the extremely offensive videos in question actually UPLOADED on your website? If you had the girl’s best interests at heart, then you’d take them down.

David July 22, 2010, 3:38 AM

You’re all going to pay for your crimes, Anonymous.

I’ve backtraced your emails. Cyberpolice are on their way.

Edgar July 22, 2010, 3:43 AM


No-one cares. The video is extremely popular, many people already have access to it.

MomLogic uploaded it to this website to show it as an example to parents perhaps.

Anonymous July 22, 2010, 3:44 AM

Personally, I think a lot of this stems from some sort of physical or sexually abuse she has suffered. She is clearly trying to act a lot older and more sexually aggressive than an 11 year-old should be. The photos of her mutilating her toys, the close relationship she has/had with a known sexual predator ( Dahvie Vanity ), and her self-destructive and esteem issues ( One of her own web pages said she liked to ” Party till she passed out and F%ck till she bleeds.” These have all since been removed or edited but the info is out there if you dig.)

I’m not going to defend the people that did this to her. They know what they did and why they did it. This week, it was an 11-year old girl. Last week they cornered and went after a English pedophile named Clive Hoyle, he liked to expose himself to little girls in Chatroulette. They may not be a force of Good, more like one of Chaos, but that doesn’t mean that some positive effect might not come from their actions in the long term. Lets hope that happens here and those who deserve to suffer for what they have done do so.

David July 22, 2010, 3:45 AM

We Must Welcome the newcomers

Anonymous July 22, 2010, 3:55 AM

I agree with the article except for the part when it says that parents should show them the video of her ranting on haters. I’ve heard less swearwords on GTA.

David D. Davidson July 22, 2010, 4:28 AM

How are the videos offensive? I wasn’t offended by them in the least. They were a little worrying but that’s about it.

King David July 22, 2010, 4:30 AM


atwood July 22, 2010, 4:31 AM

She dun goofed

Anonymous Legion July 22, 2010, 4:46 AM

Here’s what the GMA interview missed and most people have as well. She was showing nude images of herself. She was also flashing her underwear. That’s what they’re missing the point on. This is about failed parenting. Thank you for recognizing that.

- Anonymous

Anonymous July 22, 2010, 4:53 AM


Yours in Christ,


David Jr. July 22, 2010, 7:52 AM

Shut up, 4fags.

Dr. Strangelove July 22, 2010, 6:06 PM
Coleen July 22, 2010, 8:56 PM

I feel sorry for her. If I ever have children, this is the reason,cyber-bullies, I will home-school them and limit their internet use and contact with the outside world.

Anonymous July 23, 2010, 1:28 PM

Bravo, a person who has the full scope of the story and actually identifies what is wrong. Unlike GMA, whose display yesterday was a textbook case of yellow journalism.

-Another Anon

Anonymous July 23, 2010, 1:30 PM

Bravo, a person who has the full scope of the story and actually identifies what is wrong. Unlike GMA, whose display yesterday was a textbook case of yellow journalism.

-Another Anon

Anonymous July 23, 2010, 9:00 PM

And it sounds like Dave is enjoying all of these with the lame jokes…

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