Megan Meier, 13.
Back in December, I blogged about Megan Meier, a beautiful 13 year-old girl who committed suicide after being spurned by her Myspace boyfriend (read “Megan’s MySpace Suicide“). Megan’s “boyfriend” wasn’t a boy at all, but Megan’s neighbor, Lori Drew, pretending to be a boy interested in Megan. The sickest part is that Lori Drew is the mother of a girl who thought that Megan was spreading smack about her little girl.
Months later, Lori Drew has finally been indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts (one for conspiracy and three for accessing protected computers to obtain private information) on which she can serve five years each! If found guilty, Drew will serve a total of 20 years for her role in Megan’s emotional harassment leading to her death (read full article).
What I still find interesting is this–Tina Meier, Megan’s mom, is now admitting that her daughter also sent mean messages via MySpace, that Megan was too young to have a MySpace account (she was 13 and users are supposed to be 14), and that she was “carefully” monitoring Megan’s activity on the account. If she was carefully monitoring things, why was Megan sending “mean messages”? Plus, Megan was on medication and in treatment for attention deficit disorder and depression. Knowing that she was potentially volatile, why would her parents allow her to continue on MySpace?
I’m not a parent, so I don’t understand all the ins and outs of parenting. However, I do know that computers can be password-protected and sites can be blocked on the computer. I understand that discipline, though hard, is valuable. Sure, maybe Megan would have hopped on MySpace somewhere else, isn’t that always the argument? “I’d rather have my child drink with me than at some wild party!” What? You’re condoning the behavior!
It’s a sad case in which parents are guilty of failing to protect a child, who desperately needed to be protected. Even if Lori Drew goes to jail, no one really wins.