Teen Takes Her Life After ‘Friends’ Posted Pictures on Snapchat

Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram…these aren’t platforms to shame and bully people…

There are some days I love my job and some days I wish I didn’t have to do it. Today is the latter. I’m hoping by sharing this story we can save one life, give one person hope or change one bully’s ways.

Meet Tovanna Holton.

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She’s a 15-year-old girl in Florida known for laughing, cheer leading and flag football. Some friends of hers allegedly took nude photos of her and spread them to their groups of friends without her consent. The bullying got so bad that Tovanna couldn’t handle it anymore. She took the hand gun out of her mother’s purse and shot herself in her bathroom.

I don’t get it. I know Tovanna isn’t alone. 160,000 kids PER DAY skip school out of fear of being bullied.

I get social media is fun, I get everyone’s on there, I get that you live in a world that maybe hasn’t totally been introduced to consequences, but we need to learn from the consequences of this story. We need to learn that society is turning full speed toward disaster and we have two choices, stay on the bus or stand up and fight against evils like this. Don’t take naked pictures. Not of yourself, not of others. Even if someone asks you to, it’s your opportunity to talk to them about the true meaning of beauty. If a guy is going to leave you if you don’t send him nudes then that’s the perfect sign to break up with him. I promise.

I don’t know all the details of this story. I know Tovanna was a girl who was deeply loved by God as well as many people around her. Here’s a post from a friend of hers:

“This angel and her family were a part of our cheer family years ago and Tovanna had such a fun spirit and so full of energy. I hate that she had to endure such malice and hurt because of cyberbullying. We need to teach our youth and many young adults about the value of life, compassion and empathy. Rest easy baby girl!”

This world is so negative, please don’t join in, be the hope for people like Tovanna. Say random nice things to people, give strangers hugs or high fives, ask someone about their day and stick around long enough to listen. The other thing we have to learn is the power of social media. Like anything when used in moderation and for the right reason it’s not a problem, but when you’re using it to shame people who consider you a friend you really need a heart check. Your little ‘games’ destroy lives. Snapchat isn’t a place to try to become popular by humiliating others.

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I get we turn on the computer and TMZ and all these sites tell you that sharing others’ secrets is fun, but that’s not the value in this world. Friendship and love is built off trust and respect. Want true friends? Then be one. Want to fall in love with an amazing guy? Be an amazing girl.

Please, go love someone today. Do something to make this world a better place, doesn’t matter how small it is. The small things save lives, lives like Tovanna.

 

Lairs Johnston
Lairs is the chief of sinners, saved by grace, with a life that just goes to show you God can use anyone.

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