Tovonna Holton: Girl commits suicide after nude Snapchat leak
Tovonna Holton was your normal 15-year-old girl. She laughed and enjoyed life with her friends. She used social media avidly. She liked boys.
It was a boy, according to news reports, and what he did, that drove the Florida girl to take her life xxxx.
Friends took a Snapchat video of Tovonna naked in the shower. Was it a joke? Was it something that 15-year-olds do to each other? We will never know. What we do know is that the video somehow made it into the hands of Tovonna’s ex-boyfriend, who posted it on Twitter.
The young couple had become estranged and were fighting the day before, according to Tovonna's good friend Christian Coyle-Watts, who talked to The Daily Beast.
“Tovonna knew [her friend] posted the video, but Tovonna’s boyfriend posted it, trying to expose her in a derogatory way,” Coyle-Watts told the website. “He did it just because he knew he could, and it would hurt her feelings.”
It did more than hurt her feelings. It crushed her. Three hours after the video was posted and started to circulate on social media, Tovonna was being ridiculed, jeered, made fun of.
She told her mother that there was a "picture" of her going around -- and that it upset her, her mother Levon Holton-Teamer told WFLA TV.
“Tovonna would say, ‘Mommy, I owe them; I owe them’. I said, ‘What do you mean you owe them?’ I couldn’t understand what was wrong,” Holton-Teamer said.
Tovonna holed herself up in the bathroom and shot herself, apparently with her mother's gun.
Speaking to WFLA, Holton-Teamer tearfully said that she desperately tried to enter the room. “I couldn’t get in the bathroom. The bathroom light was off so I tried to get in and I looked down and I saw the puddle of blood. I tried to apply the pressure, the pressure to her head. I tried to save her.”
Soon Tovonna's aunt took to Facebook to query people who knew the situation about the video.
“I just said, ‘If anybody knows anything, what happened? Have you heard of anything? Do you know who these kids are who have the pictures?’ I thought it was just pictures and then the kids started inboxing me,” Angel Scott, Tovonna’s aunt, told WFLA. Scott learned it was actually a nude video of the girl, taken while she was in the shower.
“Everybody was out there talking about her and calling her names and they said it went up on social media, Snapchat. I’d never heard of that before about 3 something that afternoon,” she said.
Tovonna's death underscores the harm that cyber bullying can cause. Say her name: Tovonna Holton. Dead at 15.