Nov. 16th, 2007

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Sometimes there are news stories out there that just break my heart. This is one of them.

Some context before you click: Megan Meier, 13, was cyber-bullied on MySpace by a boy she thought was a friend. A troubled kid with low self-esteem and a long-standing struggle with depression, Megan was particularly susceptible to the horrible things that were said to her. Despite the support and vigilance of her mom and dad--who really seem to have been some of the most loving and supportive and actively involved parents a girl could hope for--Megan took her own life shortly before her 14th birthday.

The kicker: the MySpace 'friend' who pushed her over the edge never really existed. The people behind 'Josh' were, shockingly, adults: the mother of one of Megan's former girlfriends, a neighbour who lived down the street from the Meiers, as well as an associate of hers, were the ones who created the profile and wrote many of the messages.

The neighbour claims that she created 'Josh' to gain Megan's confidence and find out what rumours Megan might be spreading about her daughter--as if that somehow makes what she did okay. Even if she didn't write abusive messages to Megan (and it's a fact that someone with access to the account did) I can't understand how she could not be aware that this was completely unacceptable behaviour, regardless of her reasoning.

Sad. So, so sad.


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