RIP Olivia Mae Scott – 9 October 2013 a victim of bullycide.
Bristol, Vermont lost a beautiful young lady on October 9, 2013. Olivia Mae Scott, 16, a Junior at Mount Abraham Union High School passed away unexpectedly. “Passed away unexpectedly” is a euphemism for many things, in Olivia’s obituary it is a euphemism for committing suicide, she ended her own life at her home. Her funeral services will be held on Tuesday , October 15, 2013. Her family, friends and community have reached out with tributes and condolences.
Sadly bullying contributed to Olivia’s taking her own life. According to Olivia’s older sister Bethany Scott, her sister had an account on Ask.fm (see below re Ask.fm) she posted daily over the course of the three months prior to her death and sadly, many of the responses were demeaning and encouraged self-harm. The Addison Independent visited the site and reported seeing the following exchanges on Olivia’s page:
On Sept. 26, a user posted, “youre gross.” On Sept. 23 a user asked, “Why do you like attention so much?” On Sept. 12 and again on Sept. 15 a user posted, “youre ugly.” In September, a user posted, “All I know is you’re a (expletive) and very (expletive) ugly and you should take yourself off this earth,” “youre ratchet and should probably kill yourself,” and “Do it Do it.” On Sept. 29, a user asked “what school do you even go to?” Scott responded, “mt abe but its just like hell.”
On Oct. 10, an anonymous user posted on the ask.fm page of one of Olivia’s friend, which the Independent viewed. The post read “Glad that bitch is deaddddd.”
Again referencing Bethany Scott, while the posters to Olivia’s ask.fm page were anonymous, Olivia believed they were from her high school, and went on to note that Olivia was bullied on Twitter and Facebook as well. And that Olivia was bullied via text messages (aka SMS).
The family notes the bullying had escalated to such a degree that Olivia began missing school, and that the school had been approached concerning the bullying and the fear that Olivia may engage in self-harm. The family’s instincts, sadly in this case were correct. Many note their own experiences of being bullied at the school and their feelings the school did not do enough.
The school Superintendent, David Adams noted that to his knowledge no faculty or staff were aware of Scott being bullied. He is quote, ““We looked into that matter, we looked into that matter quite quickly,” Adams said Thursday. “We have no evidence of that, and as I understand it, law enforcement has no evidence of that at this time.” Adams said Mount Abraham does have an anti-bullying curriculum.”
In a June 2013 article “Ask.fm, the troubling secret playground of tweens and teens” which described ask.fm
On Ask.fm, members pick which questions, often just statements, they want to respond to. Their answers, which can include photos and video, are posted to their profiles, as well as to a real-time feed of responses. Though hidden from public sight, this stream makes it easy for any lurker with an account to glimpse inside this secret, profanity-laden world where crushes are exposed, Snapchats and Kiks are exchanged, insecurities are latched on to, and bullies go unchecked.
The popularity of the Formspring replica may come as a shock. In April, Ask.fm racked up 13 billion page views from 180 million unique visitors, Ilja Terebin told CNET. Each visitor spends, on average, 100 minutes per month on Ask.fm.
Olivia will be missed.
Tribute to Olivia:
Olivia Mae Scott Obituary (short version)
Olivia Mae Scott Obituary (long version)