On Monday, a 16-year-old Louisville girl committed suicide — but before she did, she posted her last words on YouTube with a three minute video. The clip swirled amongst the classmates she left behind before administrators shut down Twitter and YouTube on their campus.
According to USA Today, the clip was posted at 6 p.m. on Monday, and racked up 10,000 views by the time it was removed on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Social media on the district’s campuses were restored once teachers felt they had spoken to the Male High School students about the loss of their classmate.
"The safety and security of our students is our No. 1 priority. Jefferson County Public Schools is doing everything possible to support students who are grieving at this time," district spokeswoman Mandy Simpson said in a statement. "We temporarily removed access to Twitter and YouTube this morning. This was an effort to ensure that students who are emotionally impacted could get the help they needed as we worked with officials to address the situation through the most appropriate and efficient channels."
Still, try as they might to shield their kids, if a teenager has a cell phone, that teen has access to the Internet. And from Monday evening through Tuesday, until YouTube removed the clip themselves, the suicide note’s views continued to rise.
Some think Jefferson County’s Internet shut down simply tried to ignore the girl’s death by blocking her images, but the school board just recently voted to allow students the use of their cellphones at school at all. This school district sounds a bit tightly wound regarding technology, so shutting down their student’s access to social media doesn’t seem far-fetched. I think the bigger question, for me at least, is what's causing all of these teen suicides?
Image via Jefferson County Public Schools.