A 13-year-old girl from Tacoma, Washington, committed suicide just days after public shaming video was posted online. The girl’s father had chopped of her long black hair as punishment and filmed her reaction before it was placed on Instagram. Just a few days later the young girl, Izabel Laxamana, jumped from a bridge onto a busy interstate “without hesitation” and died from the resulting injuries. Since the incident, people have been questioning whether public shaming of a child is an effective means of punishment, or if it should be considered child abuse. Now the local police are speaking out about the incident and the investigation into the father.
The New York Daily News reports that 13-year-old Izabel Laxamana’s death has officially been ruled a suicide and that police have confirmed an investigation into the father’s behavior leading up to the young girl’s death. Tacoma Public Information Officer Loretta Cool says that during the investigation into the girl’s death and the father’s actions, it was determined that the father was not guilty of child abuse and that the girl “made some poor choices.”
“She was a 13-year-old that made some poor choices, meaning that she didn’t have to kill herself.”
Though Officer Cool says that the girl made the poor choice to kill herself, she also noted that the father’s choice of discipline was also poor. However, she noted that it did not amount to child abuse and that the case against the father is expected to be dropped. Cool also noted in the report that the father claims that he did not upload the video online. Instead, the man says he simply cut the girl’s hair as punishment and gave the video to the girl as a reminder not to commit the infraction again.
“It was, ‘I’m going to record this, it’s yours, that way you’ll think twice before you do this again. It was part of the discipline process. So she would remember and not do it again.”
Cool says that the video was believed to be uploaded online by a third party who was attempting to “help” Izabel. However, police did not say who is suspected of uploading the video. During the investigation it was also noted that the Laxamana family had no past history with CPS or reported child abuse claims.
According to the Independent, Izabel Laxamana left six notes to family members before jumping from the bridge.
What do you think of the new information provided by the Tacoma Police Department? Does it change our opinion on the case? Did the father go to far in his punishment by filming the reaction to the young girl losing her long hair?
[Image Credit: Twitter]