For several days now, I’ve been upset by a story my kids have told me and I want to get some other parents thoughts.
Here is what happened:
Last weekend, a bunch of kids were at a house party and were drinking. One girl named Emily got drunk and decided to go out on the crowded patio and give her ex-boyfriend oral sex on a lounge chair. Immediately, another teenager whipped out his cellphone and videoed it. He forwarded the video to friends, who forwarded the video to more friends.
It took only about two days for thousands of teens to have seen the video. It not only spread to students at the high school the girl attends but it also made its way to kids phones at two other nearby high schools. The video became so talked about that several of my daughter’s teachers knew about it and discussed it in class. One of my daughter’s teachers urged those who had it on their phones to delete it and told them they could get in trouble for disseminating child pornography.
My daughter was really upset about this whole incident and feels extremely sorry for the girl. My son’s take is different — he called the girl a slut, said she shouldn’t have been doing what she did in public, even if she was drinking. He pointed out that it’s almost an expectation today that anything stupid you do will be videoed by your peers.
A few days after the party, kids from a rival school showed up at a high school basketball game with a sign that said your school sucks and so does Emily. We all know that teens can be VERY mean.
Regardless how you look at this incident, I think it’s horribly sad. Teens by nature are immature and make mistakes…but now their mistakes are soooo public. Could you imagine what it would have been like to have your teen mistakes caught on video?
I can’t imagine how this girl is going to shake off the reputation she now has earned. It’s likely it will even follow her to college unless she leaves the state.
My daughter also was upset that no one has even mentioned the boy’s name or revealed his identity, only the girl. I explained to her that unfortunately, that’s how it is and has always been in our society.
My kids have heard that the girl has been tweeting to urge her peers to back off. I really hope this girl is strong enough to withstand the taunting.
You might be inclined to preface your answer by saying your daughter would never do something like this but I’m sure Emily’s mom would have said the same thing.
If Emily were my daughter, I think I would get her into counseling pronto. For the rest of us, maybe it’s an opportunity to acknowledge that we live in the digital age and discuss actions and consequences with our kids.