Another life tragically lost as a result of online bullying.
Earlier this week, a teenage Florida girl committed suicide after bullies filmed a nude video of her and posted it to Snapchat.
According to reports, Tovonna Holton took a gun from her mother’s purse and fatally shot herself in the bathroom of her family’s Tampa home on Sunday night.
Tovanna’s mother Levon Holton-Teamer told local news stations that hours before the 15-year-old took her own life, she complained about naked pictures her friends took of her without her permission.
Levon explained, through tears:
“Tovonna would say, ├óΓé¼╦£Mommy, I owe them, I owe them.’ I said, ├óΓé¼╦£What do you mean you owe them?’ I couldn’t understand what was wrong.”
Hours later, Holton-Teamer sent her daughter, a freshman at Wiregrass Ranch High School, to clean her room — but found her dead minutes later. She continued:
“I go to the bathroom, I couldn’t get in the bathroom. The bathroom light was off so I tried to get in and I looked down and I saw the puddle of blood. I tried to apply the pressure, the pressure to her head. I tried to save her.”
After Tovanna’s aunt Angel Scott posted on Facebook about her niece’s death, she found out the other teens had posted a nude video of Tovonna on the popular social media photo app.
“I thought it was just pictures and then the kids started inboxing me. Everybody was out there talking about her and calling her names, and they said it went up on social media, Snapchat. I’d never heard of that before about 3 something that afternoon.”
On Tuesday, a family friend shared a portrait of Tovonna on Facebook, asking anyone with information about the bullies to contact investigators and urging parents to “attack the beast of bullying and social media.”
This is absolutely devastating. We hope Tovonna’s story illustrates just how dangerous online bullying (and easily accessible guns) can be.
Our hearts go out to Tovonna’s loved ones at this trying time.
[Image via Facebook.]