Lori Drew’s daughter was hurt. Like most parents, she wanted to do something about that hurt. To make it better. Take the pain away. Unlike most parents (or human beings) however she decided the best way to do that was to hand down a death sentence to a 13-year old. Was that her intention? Doesn’t matter. She acted recklessly and WITH MALACE so her immature, selfish, short-sighted, hateful actions led to Megan’s Meier`s death. End of story. Lori Drew stated that she did not feel “as guilty” because at the funeral she found out that “Megan had tried to commit suicide before.” Oh. I see. It’s perfectly fine to inflict this kind of pain on someone, provided you are not the first thing in their lives to do so. Got it. Glad we got that cleared up.
As the ambulance was in front of the Meier’s house, Lori Drew called the other “adult” (Ashley Grillis, 18) who had been brought in on the joke and told her to keep her mouth shut about what they had done. Why? After all (according to Drew), It’s not as if they did anything wrong. Vile. Hateful. Despicable. Evil. But not wrong. And, guess what? The law agreed with her. To that effect the city of Dardenne Prairie passed a law on the 21st of November, 2007 which makes online harassment a crime. The six-member Board of Aldermen made Internet harassment a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail. (reason #265 not to live in Missouri).
The closest to justice the Meier’s will ever come is the firestorm the Drew’s ignited against themselves. (Remember that thing Alexandre Dumas wrote about digging two graves if you’re plotting revenge?). The backlash received by the Drew family is a perfect example of when bad things happen to worse people. The community of Dardenne Prairie met the Drew’s modern terror with old school revenge. Chanting crowds gathered. Demands were made. Enthusiastic suggestions regarding what the Drew famiy should do with themselves were given. The word (paintball) gun was thrown around.
It needs to be emphasized that AT NO POINT were the Drew’s physically harmed or threatened with harm because that would be stooping to their level but, to quote Disney (which can be used in ALL situations) “you’d be surprised what you can live through…” (Mad props if you know what movie that’s from).
And while the flying bricks, prank calls, complete career decemation, and creative use of The Freedom of Information Act might provide a (very) little short term satisfaction more needs to be done. NOW.
Calls for tougher regulation of the internet and stronger punishments for those who abuse it are everywhere; Groups like The Children’s Advocacy Organization are demanding serious consequences for things like falsely representing yourself online and that’s great, goodness knows the law needs to catch up with the technology! But the problem goes beyond that, we need to do more. We need to demand that people start acting like the Human Beings they’re supposed to be; parents need to teach their children from an early age to treat ALL people with respect, regardless of how you feel about them. This MUST begin with parents and families and should be reinforced in schools and extracurricular activities with a clear explanation of the consequences for those not willing to play along.
Lori Drew taught her daughter that she was special. Not, individual snowflake special but Hope Diamond-Halley’s Comet-eighth-wonder-of-the-world-nothing-good-in-the-world happened-before-you-got-here-all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips-special. So special in fact that her happiness was worth another person’s life and it is this, this inflated sense of self, this belief that we are entitled to everything all at once without having to work for it and regardless of how it affects others, that has lead to the destruction of our moral fabric. Too dramatic? Well, according to stopbullying.com; Youth who are bullied have a higher risk of depression and anxiety, are more likely to struggle personally and at school, and are more likely to retaliate through violent measures, so you tell me….