How many of us remember our first stage performance at school? The infatuation we mistook for a crush? How many of us remember our 13th birthday (threshold of teenage, eh)?
Our first dates? Our first sip of alcohol? Our first pay check? A lot of firsts and lasts, mixed with other such milestones, make our lives memorable.
Life is a beautiful journey. Moreover, life is what one makes it. But, what if one makes their ‘journey’ end themselves?
Izabel Laxamana, a 13-year-old of Tacoma, Washington committed suicide. The reasons for her suicide are still dubious. It is said that, perhaps, the reason for taking a huge step like this was, because she was ‘publicly shamed’ by her father Jeff. Her father punished her for something he disapproved of, by chopping off her hair and uploading the video of the same on YouTube.
However, the police investigating Izabel’s death have said that even though her father cut her hair and recorded the incident, there is no evidence that he had committed a crime. They have also mentioned that there were a number of factors affecting her death and that hair-cutting and video uploading did not ‘have much to do with her decision to take her own life’.
But how is it concluded whether her father was at fault or not? How is it known that even though police seemed to find him innocent, he found himself guilty?
But, even if the father’s side of the story was known would he be considered innocent? Would he not be judged for (perhaps) taking his daughter’s life?
Izabel was a troubled teenager. At Giaudrone Middle School, she was bullied. She felt lonely. She was judged and looked down upon. Following is her Google+ post thanking a particular friend for sticking around.
“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….”
Would it now be concluded that Izabel’s death was because of her father’s way of punishment or because of the loneliness in her life? Would Izabel be considered a coward for running away from life without tackling her problems or would she be considered a burdened soul who had no option but to take her own life?
You, Me and Suicide
This not just about one Izabel, it is about all the teenagers of the 21st century. Suicide is the second leading cause of deaths between the ages of 10-24.
Is committing suicide the only solution for all our problems? What Izabel did was right? Or what her father did was right? Who is at fault?
Personally, I think incidents of suicides are two way roads, only one side should never be blamed. If Izabel’s father wanted to teach her a lesson, he should have thought of something more private, like sitting and talking to her about his concerns for her and share each others’ problems instead of publicly embarrassing her. However, Izabel should have opted for a less impactful way of getting through this and she should have discussed this with someone at least if not her parents.
If you feel there is something that is troubling you, and you need to discuss it with someone contact AASRA on their 24*7 helpline – + 91-22-27546669. Let not one mistake, take away from you your memorable firsts and lasts.
Tell us what you felt went wrong in this tragic case of a teenager’s death. Let’s talk more about this so we do our bit to reduce such cases.
RIP Izabel Laxamana. The sacrifice of your life shall save hundreds of life.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.