Wednesday 26 October 2016

Teen (13) kills herself after 'shaming' video by father is posted online

Published 06/06/2015 | 16:44

Izabel Laxamana
Izabel Laxamana

A teenage girl killed herself days after her father filmed himself cutting her hair and threaten to post it online to publicly 'shame' her.

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Izabel Laxamana (13) left six notes to her family members before taking her own life last Friday, police said.

Her death has triggered widespread anger in the city of Tacoma, Washington, especially after the video found its way online.

Police who have been probing the girl’s death said while her father had cut her hair and recorded the incident, there was no evidence that he had committed a crime.

They said it appeared there were a number of factors that were affecting the youngster and that the hair-cutting and video did not "have much to do with her decision to take her own life".

Officer Loretta Cool, a spokeswoman for the Tacoma Police Department, said Izabel’s father, Jeff Laxamana, had cut off the girls hair to try and stop her doing certain things he disapproved of.

“Yes, it did happen. He did cut her hair, he did it to try and make her stop,” she said.

“He asked her if she understood there were consequences for her actions.”

In the video posted briefly to YouTube, the young teen's hair can be seen lying on the floor of a room as the camera pans around.

“The consequences of getting messed up, man, you lost all that beautiful hair,” the father can he heard to say.

“Was it worth it?”

“No,” she says.

“How many times did I warn you?” asks her father.

“A lot,” she says.

Ms Cool, the police spokeswoman, said she believed Izabel had killed herself because she believed things she had done in her past had shamed her family.

“This was her way of apologising to everyone,” she said.

Ms Cool said Izabel was a 13-year-old who “made a couple of bad decisions and then made one really bad one”, and urged anyone who suspected a teenager was struggling with depression to seek help from the authorities.

“Kids don’t realise the permanence of suicide,” she said.

The death of the teenager has sparked widespread discussion on social media about the merits or otherwise of parents who seek to “shame” their children, either publicly or privately, in an effort to change their behaviour.

Earlier this year, Timothy Srobenhorst, from Wisconsin, made headlines when he posted images of his son doing boot camp-style exercises after learning that he had bullied another pupil at school.

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