Thursday, November 22, 2007

Megan Meier Suicide -- Fighting Back Against Immature Adults

Many of you are probably already aware of the tragic story of Megan Meier, a young girl who committed suicide last October. If you are not, here is the basic story, as told by the Los Angeles Times:

For nearly a year, the families who live along Waterford Crystal Drive in this bedroom community northwest of St. Louis have kept the secret about the boy Megan Meier met last September on the social networking site MySpace.

He called himself Josh Evans, and he and 13-year-old Megan struck up an online friendship that lasted several weeks. Then the boy abruptly turned on Megan and ended it. That night, Megan, who had previously battled depression, committed suicide.

The secret was revealed six weeks later: Neighbor Lori Drew had pretended to be 16-year-old Josh to gain the trust of Megan, who had been fighting with Drew's daughter, according to sheriff's department records and Megan's parents.
Please go here to read the full story.
In my opinion, Megan's demise is completely the fault of the neighbors who created the fake MySpace identity. What is truly sad is that it was not just a young girl playing a prank, rather the whole thing was orchestrated by a grown woman, someone who should have been mature enough to let her daughter deal with her own drama. Not only that, but it is also clear to me that Megan's suicide was directly triggered by the MySpace incident, and it completely sickens me that the family at fault has offered no type of apology or remorse whatsoever. It also saddens me that there isn't any way these people can be brought up on criminal charges.

There is, however, a small beacon of hope. According to the Los Angeles Times, the community and other people across the country are fighting back. I think in these situations, it is important for citizens to take matters into their own hands and teach the culprits a lesson. I encourage anyone who reads this to take a cue from these great citizens and join in the crusade to make these people's lives hell. These idiots need to take responsibility for their actions. In addition, I think everyone should offer their support to Megan's parents, who have to deal with such an overwhelming tragedy.

Furthermore, it is cases like this that bring about the importance of being extra careful in regards to the internet. Obviously, this Josh character was very convincing (probably because he was created by an adult), but this serves as a further warning as to why people need to take care when talking to people they don't know online. Take anything said by a stranger with a grain of salt, because you never know if that person is genuine, or if they are a 58-year-old overweight unemployed guy trying to fill some sad void in his life by screwing with people online. So please, if you have children, teach them at an early age to be wary of people on the internet. Let's do what we can to make sure something like this never happens again.

1 comment:

Danny Vice said...

The questions surrounding the Megan Meier Suicide/Internet harassment story are numerous. What should happen to the Drews? What will the prosecutors do? Will the Drews actually continue with their law suite against the Meier family?

The most debated question however is not whether or not some sort of punishment should be metered out. The pressing question is whether or not the adult who is responsible for this deadly hoax should have been reveal to the public.

The original story, published close to a year ago concealed the name of the adult bully behind the fake MySpace account that convinced Megan to take her own life. Even now, I have yet to find a major news outlet that's been willing to reveal Ms. Drew's identity to the public at large. It was the Blogging community that decided to unmask this modern day villain. Here's why I think they were right to do so.

My Sharp Opinion

As details about Lori Drew's 6 week cyber-voyeur techniques emerged, the more I am convinced that outing this kind of behavior is not only right, but essential. Essential? Why?

It is becoming clearer and clearer that Lori Drew employed many of the same grooming techniques that child predators utilize to charm their way into gaining a child's trust. Even Lori herself reported to police that she created the MySpace account in order to find out what Megan was saying.

The most significant key here is that Lori Drew spent approximately 6 full weeks baiting Megan into this trust by posing as a "cute" boy that Megan would be attracted to. Right there, Drew utilizes the sexual stimulation that exists in male/female pair bonding in order to manipulate the 13 year old girl.

Outing Child Predators has been public policy in most states and is usually upheld under the premise that the public has a right to reasonably protect itself from criminal behavior where it exists. Families with children have a right to know when those who might prey upon their child, live nearby. Public policy dictates that if a child is exposed to potential harm from predatory activity, then parents should at least have the opportunity to be aware such harm may exist.

It is the predatory nature of this case that bears striking resemblance to the public policy. The only difference in this case is that the alleged perpetrator of this heinous act has not been charged or convicted.

Thus far, details in the case have been heavily supported by Lori Drew's own admissions, police records and interviews. The amount of speculation in this case has been minimal, and the majority of public outrage has largely focused on the facts presented.

The Missouri Public Records Act of 1961 were devised partially to inform the public of persons, events, proceedings and reports that may effect the public directly. These records (such as the charges Lori Drew filed against the Meier family), were the principal documents used to tie Lori Drew to her abhorrent acts. By filing this police report, Lori in effect put herself into the spot light. The Blogging community simply connected the dots and reported the results.