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In the News: A young girl is dead--teen bullying to blame

Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 6
Rehtaeh Parsons was just another girl, living a normal life in Nova Scotia, Canada. However, unlike any other girl, she succumbed to a trauma that no one would wish on his or her worst enemy. She was gang raped by several boys at the age of just fifteen. Horrific enough as this was, one boy apparently took and released a photo of the young girl being assaulted to the public, unleashing a reign of bullying on Parsons.
Technology has been the best and worst thing to happen to our society. On one hand, we make incredible leaps of discovery with it, and on the other, immature adolescents can use it to ruin a peer's reputation and, frankly, break his or her spirit. That's just what the alleged four rapists did to Rehtaeh. Teens are given such powers and responsibilities with social media sites, hi-tech cell phones, etc., that are being abused and used against innocent victims. What shocks me is the lack of justice served to the boys as the photo of one of them having sex with Rehtaeh while she was clearly incapacitated by alcohol is not enough proof to convict the boys of a crime.
What touched me most about this story--and what I believe teens and college students need to pay more attention to--is the consequences of what they put out about other people on the internet. This is not the first instance I have heard of a girl being bullied and blamed for an act of sexual assault. A sixteen year old girl was sexually assaulted while party-hopping in Steubenville, Ohio. She was thoroughly incapacitated by alcohol and during the sexual assault, people took photographs of her naked. With the posting of these photos online, the floodgates for teens to pass judgement on her were wide open. They criticized her, calling her insulting names, and even claimed that she deserved to be raped. These teens were saying this about the girl who was a victim of sexual assault, but based on their crude comments it did not appear to cross their minds once.
Rehtaeh is not alone when it comes to bullying, but the apparent desensitization we as a society have to such a serious crime as rape disgusts me. Just because we--the teens of today--have a keyboard and screen to act as our protector does not mean we should be posting photos or saying things that in anyway victimize another human being. In the end, those teens can never take back the things they said, and as a result a young girl lost her life, leaving behind a family that will never live life the same way again.
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