13-Year-Old Commits Suicide After Father Publicly Shames Her

June 4, 2015  |  

With the advent of social media, children have been using it to misbehave and adults have been using it as a form of punishment. The logic is that if you “stunt” on social media or in real life, for the benefit of your friends, it can also be the same place where you are disciplined, by public embarrassment. We’ve sen it with the “old-man haircuts,” the beatings uploaded to Worldstar, the children wearing barrettes and clothes announcing their real age, and most recently the mother who made her daughter say the most embarrassing things, like “I don’t even know how to wash my own ass.” as a consequence for lying about her age on social media.

Discipline by public shaming is everywhere.

But it doesn’t always produce the desired result.

Izabel Lazamana, a 13-year-old girl in Tacoma, Washington committed suicide by jumping off a highway overpass on May 29. Lazamana took her life days after her father uploaded a video of him punishing her for “getting messed up” by cutting her hair off to YouTube.

Now, Laxamana’s friends and family members are wondering if the video contributed to her taking her life.

News Tribune reports that Laxamana got out of a car a jumped off a bridge onto Interstate 5. She was taken to Seattle hospital where she died the next day.

Friends of the family are now raising money for the funeral costs on a GoFundMe site.

The original video, filmed by Izabel’s father, has been removed. But one of her friends shared it by taping the original on a cell phone.

In it, you can hear a man, presumably her father, saying:

“The consequences of getting messed up…Man, you lost all that beautiful hair. Was it worth it?”

She responds: “No.”

How many times did I warn you?

“A lot.”

After one blog blamed the video and subsequent public shaming as a catalyst for Laxamana’s suicide, others are asking that her father be criminally prosecuted or publicly shamed himself.

I think we can all agree that the more public shaming is not the correct course of action. Not only is the family mourning the loss of their child; at this point, we don’t know if other factors might have contributed to her decision. People are upset right now; but with a loss this great, I find it hard to fathom the father needing any additional punishment.

Jezebel reported that in a Google Plus post from last year, Laxamana shared a link to a song and said that it helped get her through challenging times, particularly at school.

I feel hated most of the time im in school i feel looked down on and i get judged alot…. But what keeps me going is people like kian who have gone through the same thing as me… In a school with so many people its weird to say “i feel alone” but the truth is that you really do feel alone. So thanks for everything kian…. “

A tragic story all the way around. And we’re keeping Izabel, her family and her friends in our prayers.

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