I've been searching for something intelligent to add to the discussion about Megan Meier, the 13-year-old girl who committed suicide after she was insulted and dumped by an "online boyfriend" on MySpace. The online persona "Josh" was actually a fictitious hoax created by an adult neighbor who was a mother of one of Megan's friends.
It's one of those senseless tragedies that is difficult to comprehend and put into any kind of perspective, especially seeing Megan's mother appear on The Today Show this week. Matt Lauer asked Tina Meier to speak out against the retaliatory online harassment toward the bullying neighbor, who has been publicly named. My heart broke seeing a grieving, outraged parent put on the spot as the one asked to rise above the cycle of violence. She clearly wasn't ready to do so, and it would have been a lot more productive to ask a more objective anti-bullying expert to speak out against the dangers of vigilantism.
I finally found an intelligent synthesis written by Judith Warner on her Domestic Disturbances blog. She links Megan Meier's bullying to the "helicopter parenting" phenomenon. … Read more