We've all seen the trend of parents punishing their kids with public shaming, but this recent tragic case may have mom or dad thinking twice about this discipline tactic.
Izabel Laxamana, a 13-year-old girl from Tacoma, Washington, jumped from a moving vehicle on a highway overpass on May 29. Just days before, her father had punished her for an undisclosed reason, cutting her hair and publicly shaming her by posting a video on YouTube.
The YouTube video has been removed, but Jezebel has posted a phone recording of the original. In the video, a man's voice is heard saying, "The consequences of getting messed up? Man, you lost all that beautiful hair. Was it worth it?"
The girl in the video responds, "No." He then asks, "How many times did I warn you?," to which she responds, "A lot."
Teen and adolescent clinical psychologist Barbara Greenberg told Yahoo Parenting that the shaming video may not have been the only factor in the girl's suicide, explaining, "In all these cases where there's bullying - and public shaming is a form of bullying - and then a suicide, there's usually a history of depression and mental health issues. I think shaming alone won't do that to an otherwise resilient kid."
She continued, "Given this father's behavior, I would speculate there was a long history of abuse and shaming and that this was a final trigger - particularly since hair is all about womanhood and sexuality and beauty. And 13 is probably the most vulnerable age - it's when kids hit puberty that such depression is most likely to emerge."
The Justice for Izabel Facebook page has been set up in the teen's memory.
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