Getting away with murder?

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I recently was made aware of a particular story that has me outraged. There are several things that need to be covered here, and I expect this is something of little controversy, other than what people think of bullying.

First, background ... A young almost 14 year old girl is allowed to use an account on myspace, is monitored closely, and appears to have been the victim of an adult who created another myspace account specifically to gain the girl's confidence. The account was then used to dash the girl's esteem, which appears to have been the trigger event in the girl taking her own life. A newspaper article on the story is at:
http://stcharlesjournal.stltoday.com/articles/2007/11/10/news/sj2tn20071110-1111stc_pokin_1.ii1.txt

There are two issues I'd like to address. One, is how some people in society have hideously accused the parents of the girl who did monitor activities on the account of not doing so closely enough, and two, how the adults who perpetrated this are not guilty of any crime (at least not one with which they can be charged).

First, let me point out that the mom in this case did keep the password for the account and only allowed access when the girl was monitored almost continually. That is what the story stated. In essence, the circumstances that came together to allow her access outside that particular time were strange and can only be described as a fluke. The parents were being careful, and even in that care they saw the initial activity as not being dangerous. What I find outrageous is people that believe that children should be prisoners -- their every move monitored, their every interaction watched -- as if the children of the world are the ones that perpetrate this kind of evil. 50 years ago, anyone who stalked a child like this would have been lynched. Now it is the parents of children that are being told there are bad people out there, so imprison your child. I think we have it backwards. We imprison children so perverts and criminals don't have their "civil rights" infringed.

The second thing I would want to address is that the laws of our land cannot be perfect -- there aren't enough books to cover all the hideous acts a person could perform. Things that are wrong -- like the person that lured this girl into thinking a handsome young boy was taking an interest in her, knew she was under psychiatric care, and then dashed her to the ground. While it appears the acts violated no laws, these actions were clearly wrong. A reasonable society should have nothing to do with such a person. While the laws may not call those actions murder, it would appear the result was the taking of another's life.

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5 Comments

Dan said:

If I read this right, a fragile child, under psychiatric care was corresponding with strangers over the Internet with Mom and Dad's approval ? Did Mom and Dad not know that modern day boogeymen live on the Internet, no longer under the bed ? I agree children should not be prisoners, but the playgrounds where they play or socialize must be matched to their physical and emotional capabilities.

Seems as if there were several wrongs in this scenario, with a tragic ending for an innocent.

ACTivist said:

Brian,
Although children should not be made prisoners, parents have an obligation to watchout and protect them. The internet has been used for many ill-gotten reasons and "myspace" has reared its ugly head in society. What started out as "tame-and-lame" has turned into cause for school dismissal and refusal of job applications. I don't think that cyberspace is reality and will never replace the comforts of human contact.
I would say that although she had a fragile condition that needed constant monitoring, the end result could have come from anywhere. People in society today are not nice and we have allowed this social degradation to occur. It is up to the parents of the perpitrators to make sure that their children are raised correctly (with God and values, as it was for us in the old days) so that we can erradicate this behavior in the near future. That's my take.

Cathymac said:

Even if the parents of the girl that committed suicide were remiss in monitoring her internet use, it pales in comparison to the actions of the other parents involved. There is a special place in hell for people that committ these type of actions regardless of whether it is actually a crime.

Did you read the story? The mother here was as much duped as the child. The other adults spent more than 6 weeks making it seem like this was a reasonable and good person. The mom did just about everything she could to work through making sure her daughter was okay. The lapse was a single incident, and that one time was when the woman struck.

There are bad people out there, but it used to be that when a bad person attacked a child, the whole world was enraged, and the person that attacked the child became an example of what one would never want to happen to anyone. While I might be able to forgive the person, society needs to punish them for child murder. I don't know of a punishment to cruel for child murder by an adult.

jacob said:

All,
I see the other parents as the chief villains. I am amazed that they cannot be charged with reckless endangerment OR willful disregard or the wellbeing of another. Both of which CAN or should translate into some kind of manslaughter charge. Is there a lawyer in the house who can explain this?

The bullying parents need to pay for this. It is bad enough when teenagers bully each other. When adults bully teenagers a public flogging of the adult is called for. This is rank cruelty and cowardice.

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