This post isn’t shocking because it shows teens being cruel to each other, though the beating is pretty serious and effed up (why was this girl even friends with these people?)… But it’s more shocking – to me at least – because it demonstrates the value that teens have for MySpace, a pedestal that is dangerously high.
Maybe it’s because I am in my 30s and didn’t have the Internet when I was in high school (not a well developed form that is, I remember a few of the geeks using the loud modems to dial up and “get online” in the mid 90s), but even when someone would write something mean on a locker – we just kind of gave the middle finger and did the same back.
At least in my high school, just 15 years ago, stuff like this never happened:
More Teens Charged In Taped Beating
(click link to read full story and watch a video)
LAKELAND — Two more teenagers were arrested, accused of videotaping a beating a 16-year-old girl so they could post the video on the Internet.
Authorities said the girl was attacked on March 30 by six girls when she arrived at a friend’s home.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the incident began after comments were made on the popular social networking site MySpace.com.
At one point in the video, the beaten girl was knocked unconscious, and was later seen pleading to be let out of the house.
The sheriff’s office said after the attack, three of the teens forced her into a vehicle and drove her to another location, where she was told she would be given a worse beating if she called police.
Two males — one adult and one minor — were also charged for allegedly acting as lookouts during the beating. One boy, who was charged as an adult, was freed on bail.
The victim’s father said the teens intended to post the video on YouTube.com.
After this article, the story of which has now made rounds everywhere (I just saw a lengthy report on CNN), there was an update this morning:
Teens In Taped Beating Could Be Charged As Adults
The Polk County Sheriff says he wants everyone connected to a taped beating of a 16-year-old, which showed up on MySpace.com, tried as adults.
Authorities said Victoria Lindsay was attacked on March 30 by six girls when she arrived at a friend’s home.
Eight teens have been arrested, ranging in age from 14 to 18.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the incident began after slurs and insults were allegedly made on the popular social networking site MySpace.com by Lindsay.
Lindsay is still recovering from a concussion and has lost some vision and hearing. She said she won’t be returning to public school because of what happened.
EDIT: CNN just reported the attackers WILL be charged with felonies.
I don’t know what was written that provoked the attack, but I am certain it wasn’t what would be considered “cyberbullying.” Maybe along with Internet safety, parents and teachers should be telling kids that they will never be able to control what people say on the Internet – so don’t fret. They are already saying be careful of what you post – but let’s take it one step further and tell them not to worry what one idiot says. After all, the Internet is chock full of them… And maybe someone should tell teenagers that nothing that happens in high school will matter in 5 years… that is, unless they videotape themselves beating-up a peer and post it on the Internet.
This unfortunate story also just shows the pure immaturity of teenagers, and the misplaced importance they have for the Internet. It also clearly demonstrates the ignorance of parents when it comes to knowing what their kids are doing and how they are feeling.
I hope the girls that were vicious enough to do this – and then stupid enough to tape it and post it online – are scarred for life by this incident, just like the victim. That should be their penalty for acting like psychos and then showing it to the whole world. Likewise, I hope the victim will now think twice before posting stupid insults on a page that everyone can read. I also hope the parents pay for their kids’ actions – maybe that will serve as a reminder to watch what your stupid teens are doing online. (I won’t even go into a rant about parents needing to toughen up in order to prevent breeding little monsters)
EDIT: mom Lindsay was just on CNN and mentioned how they had emailed MySpace, asking them to delete their daughter’s profile. They did not. Of course – why would they care about their members…? (that is sarcasm, if you can’t pick it up) She also mentioned she had put parental controls on the computer, but the daughter was smart enough to get around them.
I applaud mom for appearing on CNN and feel terrible about what happened to her daughter, but it is true – had she been monitoring (like, let’s say, with an excellent program like PC Pandora 5.0), rather than trying to filter and block, she may have been able to step in and tell her daughter that posting taunting comments like that is stupid and could very well come back to hurt her. Certainly no one could have foreseen a beatdown, which is still inexcusable and disgusting… but you know what I am saying. The only way to truly know what your kids are doing is to monitor their Internet activity.
Our deepest sympathies go to the Lindsay family and to Vicky, whom I hope has a speedy and healthy recovery.