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  #1  
Old 03-23-2009, 11:08 PM
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Default Sexting / Family wants tougher laws

Family wants tougher laws

By Cindy Kranz ē ckranz@enquirer.com ē March 22, 2009

Jessica Logan's nude cell-phone photo - meant for her boyfriend's eyes only - was sent to hundreds of teenagers last year in at least seven Greater Cincinnati high schools.

The 18-year-old Sycamore High School senior was then bombarded with taunts: slut, porn queen, whore.

On July 3, Jessie hanged herself in her bedroom.

She was Albert and Cynthia Logan's only child.

"My only baby that I will never be able to touch again," Cynthia Logan said through tears. "I will never have grandchildren. I will never be able to hand down my heirlooms. I'm just devastated by these parents that allow their children to do and say anything they want."

Now, Jessie's parents are attempting to launch a national campaign seeking laws to address "sexting" - the practice of forwarding and posting sexually explicit cell-phone photos online. The Logans also want to warn teens of the harassment, humiliation and bullying that can occur when that photo gets forwarded.

Cynthia Logan and Parry Aftab, an attorney and one of the leading authorities on Internet security and cyberbullying, plan to attach Jessie's name to a national campaign to educate teens about the dangers of sexting.

Aftab, based in New York, is the catalyst for a network of volunteers working to stop cyberbullying. She operates two Web sites: wiredsafety.org, the world's largest and oldest cyber safety organization, and stopcyberbullying.org.

"Schools need to understand our kids are targeting each other and how technology is being used as a weapon," Aftab said. "None of them (the schools) know what to do.
Many of them ... think it's not their problem. They want to close their eyes and put fingers in their ears, saying it's a home issue."

Compassionate and carefree

Jessie's friends and family described her as an artistic, bubbly, compassionate carefree spirit who had many friends in several schools. She was also a "tiger," who would relentlessly stand up for someone.

"But she couldn't stand up for herself," Albert Logan said.

"I think when you're constantly knocked down, you lose your self-esteem," his wife added.

Jessie was not alone in sending nude cell-phone photos. Her friends point to the increasing pressure on teenage girls to send nude photos to their boyfriends.

A national study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy revealed that 1 in 5 teen girls or 22 percent say they have electronically sent or posted nude or semi-nude images online of themselves.

Some area school resource officers and principals estimate that at least half of the students have an inappropriate photo on their cell phone.

After the cell-phone photo was disseminated, Jessie's outgoing personality turned inward.

The Logans blame a circle of five friends from three other high schools for forwarding the photo.

According to Cynthia Logan, Jessie took the photo and sent it to the boy she had been dating for one to two months. He, in turn, forwarded it to four girls, she said. Efforts to reach the former boyfriend were unsuccessful.

Lauren Taylor, a friend since childhood and a Sycamore senior last year, discovered the photo had been forwarded when two girls in her class showed it off. She broke the news to Jessie.

"Her head just dropped, and she started crying," Lauren said. "And then, we went straight up to the counselor's office. And after that, she did not want to go back out in the hallway.

"She just totally changed. She wasn't as outgoing and kind of kept to herself, where she would normally be like jumping around. Instead her head was just down, and she would always be crying," Lauren said. "I remember her constantly calling my phone crying."

When the taunting started at school, Jessie skipped classes, sometimes slipping out a door to sleep in her car in the parking lot. When truancy notices showed up, her mother started dropping her off at school, but Jessie hid crying in the school bathroom.

"I watched her get kicked out of maybe three or four parties over the summer just for having 'a reputation,' " said Steven Arnett, a friend of hers who graduated last year from Moeller High School.

After seeing what Jessie went through, he said, "There's no reason to send pictures like that, no matter what a guy asks for. I don't think that's an acceptable thing to do."

She couldn't even escape when she went home, her close friends said.

"I'd be with her and she'd get numbers that weren't even in her contacts, random numbers that she didn't know, texting her, 'You're a whore, you're a slut,' " Lauren said.

"Or, she'd get on MySpace and get messages from people calling her those names, or Facebook would be the same way. It was constant. She'd go home thinking, 'Oh I'm going to get away from this,' but she never could get away from it."

The Logans said Sycamore High School and the school resource officer didn't do enough to help Jessie. Sycamore sent truancy notices, Cynthia Logan said, but no calls or letters about what was happening to her daughter in school and no notices to other parents about explicit cell-phone photos. And no charges were filed by the resource officer, she said.

Sycamore Superintendent Adrienne James said she couldn't discuss specifics of Jessie's situation. The perils of technology was a topic at a parent information night, she said.

"It is a form of bullying, and that is something we cannot tolerate. The difficulty is stopping it. ... That's why we stress with our kids that the moment you push 'send,' the damage is done."

Educators and parents must be involved, James said, in talking to teens about making good choices, positive self-imaging and avoiding risky behaviors.

Montgomery Officer Paul Payne, the school resource officer, said he confronted some of the girls who forwarded Jessie's photo, even though they attend another school. He asked them to delete the photo from their phones.

"Could she have pressed charges? No, because she's 18," Payne said, adding that there were some areas that could have been explored. "The investigation stopped at her wish, because she basically didn't want this to go any further. ... You respect the wishes of an 18-year-old. In the eyes of the law, she can make her own decision."

Payne said he supports the Logans' efforts to change laws. "Let's face it. The law hasn't caught up to what the original law was designed for."

Jessie expressed regrets about taking and sending the photo, her mother said. She wanted to warn other kids. At Payne's suggestion, she did an anonymous television interview.

"My little girl wanted to get the message out to other children not to make the same mistake she did," Albert Logan said.

Despite missing so much school, Jessie graduated. She began making plans for a new job and college at the University of Cincinnati, where she would major in graphic design.

Then, a 16-year-old Sycamore student hanged himself last June 27. Cynthia Logan put her arms around her daughter, who was sobbing when she heard. Against her parents' wishes, Jessie went to his visitation and funeral, because a friend needed a ride.

'She snapped all of a sudden'

After the boy's funeral, Jessie went to Lauren's house and ranted about why the boy had committed suicide.

"She just kept crying," Lauren said. "Basically, what she kept saying was, 'How could he do this to his family? How could he put his family through so much pain, and his friends? ... I never thought that she would go and do the same thing."

Later that day, Jessie's mother suggested that she just stay home and chill out.

Jessie complained that she was 18 and planned to go out.

Jessie took a shower before getting ready. Her dad was home. Cynthia Logan was on the phone with her brother, walking in the hallway, when Jessie came out of the bathroom and went into her bedroom.

"That is the last time I saw my daughter alive," Cynthia Logan said, her voice lowering to a whisper.

Her mother discovered Jessie hanging in her bedroom.
"There sat her phone. Her straightener was hot. She was ready to go out. I don't know what happened," she said, choking back tears. "It was impulsive, like she snapped all of a sudden. You have all this weight, and it was just one more thing."

The Logans may never have closure. She did not leave a note.

Jessie placed five phone calls before she died.

The Logans wonder if something that was said in a cell-phone conversation set her off during the last moments of her life.

Albert and Cynthia Logan have gone public with Jessie's story, hoping to change vague state laws that don't hold anyone accountable for sexting. They also want to warn kids about what can happen when nude cell-phone photos are shared.

"We want a bill passed," Cynthia Logan said.

"It's a national epidemic. Nobody is doing anything - no schools, no police officers, no adults, no attorneys, no one."

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  #2  
Old 03-23-2009, 11:26 PM
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That's a very sad story. Maybe I missed something here... The mother claims that the school did not do enough to help her daughter. But what did the parents do? Didn't seem to mention that they provided much help for her themselves.. Like counseling..
As far as a law goes I can't imagine how that could be regulated without invasion of privacy. Which is not ok with me. Parents just now have another thing to educate their children about.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:29 PM
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That is so sad!!
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Chawk1 View Post
That's a very sad story. Maybe I missed something here... The mother claims that the school did not do enough to help her daughter. But what did the parents do? Didn't seem to mention that they provided much help for her themselves.. Like counseling..
As far as a law goes I can't imagine how that could be regulated without invasion of privacy. Which is not ok with me. Parents just now have another thing to educate their children about.
I found this story incredibly sad and it makes me angry.

Good question, Carin. I don't know what the parents did to get her help.

I wish they would make the boyfriend's name public, address, all phone numbers, school, work place, many photos so he can be harassed.
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:41 AM
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Tragic story, but...

"You can't fix stupid."
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:46 AM
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I found this story incredibly sad and it makes me angry.

Good question, Carin. I don't know what the parents did to get her help.

I wish they would make the boyfriend's name public, address, all phone numbers, school, work place, many photos so he can be harassed.
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Tragic story, but...

"You can't fix stupid."
I just hate that young girls aren't using their heads.....You're right Tre, can't fix stupid.

From the article sounds like this young lady was pretty well rounded until her BF betrayed her trust....So, not sure if it was anything the parents could do. In the school's defense, they can only be so pro-active.......parents need to have a relationship w/ the teachers not expect the attendance office to call every single home when a child is absent. I know a few ppl who receive emails regularly on their child's behavior.....letters always get intercepted in the mail.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:49 AM
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This story is so sad. I saw this online somewhere not too long ago.
There seems to be a big chunk of the story that's missing though. This girl obviously had some other problems going on. A nude photo alone would not make a normal person hang herself, particularly considering she had already graduated and was planning on moving on.
Still, this is a very good lesson to teens out there. This is certainly not something I had to deal with in school, so most parents probably don't realize its an issue. I'm at a loss for how the school is expected to prevent "sexting" or discipline the people that forward the messages...
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:47 AM
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Thumbs down "sexting" is whack, jack

Now, Jessie's parents are attempting to launch a national campaign seeking laws to address "sexting" - the practice of forwarding and posting sexually explicit cell-phone photos online. The Logans also want to warn teens of the harassment, humiliation and bullying that can occur when that photo gets forwarded.

This is a great idea. Make something positive come from your pain. I hope this law passes before my kids get to high school.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:48 AM
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I just hate that young girls aren't using their heads.....You're right Tre, can't fix stupid.

From the article sounds like this young lady was pretty well rounded until her BF betrayed her trust....So, not sure if it was anything the parents could do. In the school's defense, they can only be so pro-active.......parents need to have a relationship w/ the teachers not expect the attendance office to call every single home when a child is absent. I know a few ppl who receive emails regularly on their child's behavior.....letters always get intercepted in the mail.
A tragedy indeed. And if Tre' was referring to the dead girl being stupid, maybe it is a little harsh. Not everyone can be as thick skinned as him. It seems like we are dealing with new problems now due to advances in technology. Sociologists,psychologists,guidance counselors,parents and teachers have no idea how to appropriately handle a situation like this because it has never happened before. This sets a precendent, so they have a guideline of what to do.

Most of us in this forum did not have myspace, facebook or cellphones in high school. Those that did, probably did not have text message capabilities. Camera phones first appeared in the US in 2002 with the Sony Ericsson T300 being introduced. Back then it was an attachment that you put into the phone.

These are just part of the new problems that we wil have to deal with as parents and future parents.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:02 AM
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It is tragic
but like already said no one is going to kill themselves over just this there had to be other issues

hell i was teased and ostracized on a daily basis from kindergarten thru high school for my disability and i didn't kill myself

laws aren't the answer people need to take responsibility for decisions they make
parents need to take responsibility for how they raised or did not raise their children
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:24 AM
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It is tragic
but like already said no one is going to kill themselves over just this there had to be other issues

hell i was teased and ostracized on a daily basis from kindergarten thru high school for my disability and i didn't kill myself

laws aren't the answer people need to take responsibility for decisions they make
parents need to take responsibility for how they raised or did not raise their children
You're a very strong person to go through that in most of your school years. An opposite reaction to the suicide could be massacre the likes of columbine and Virginia tech. People going postal.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:34 AM
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A tragedy indeed. And if Tre' was referring to the dead girl being stupid, maybe it is a little harsh. Not everyone can be as thick skinned as him. It seems like we are dealing with new problems now due to advances in technology. Sociologists,psychologists,guidance counselors,parents and teachers have no idea how to appropriately handle a situation like this because it has never happened before. This sets a precendent, so they have a guideline of what to do.

Most of us in this forum did not have myspace, facebook or cellphones in high school. Those that did, probably did not have text message capabilities. Camera phones first appeared in the US in 2002 with the Sony Ericsson T300 being introduced. Back then it was an attachment that you put into the phone.

These are just part of the new problems that we wil have to deal with as parents and future parents.
Very much a tragedy this, and I'm sorry this happened. But I guess the way I see it, this isn't so much a new problem as it's a very OLD problem being approached in a totally new way--and that's the problem of bullying, period. Bullying has always been around in one form or to one degree or another. Some people I know even consider it to be "normal" (which I disagree with). It's just now, with the advent of new technologies, it's so much easier to bully someone 24/7, rather than limit it to the lunch hour of school. As I see it, the kids have to deal with bullying the same way we did growing up--stand up to them, and don't let them control your life. However, we as adults need to stop tolerating bullying in any form or considering it "normal," whether it occurs in the physical or cyber world. My thoughts and prayers to the family in their time of grief, and I truly hope and pray that this unfortunate situation galvanizes people to action so that this sort of thing doesn't happen again.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:52 AM
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Very much a tragedy this, and I'm sorry this happened. But I guess the way I see it, this isn't so much a new problem as it's a very OLD problem being approached in a totally new way--and that's the problem of bullying, period. Bullying has always been around in one form or to one degree or another. Some people I know even consider it to be "normal" (which I disagree with). It's just now, with the advent of new technologies, it's so much easier to bully someone 24/7, rather than limit it to the lunch hour of school. As I see it, the kids have to deal with bullying the same way we did growing up--stand up to them, and don't let them control your life. However, we as adults need to stop tolerating bullying in any form or considering it "normal," whether it occurs in the physical or cyber world. My thoughts and prayers to the family in their time of grief, and I truly hope and pray that this unfortunate situation galvanizes people to action so that this sort of thing doesn't happen again.

This is true. But from a humiliation standpoint, this literally has global implications. No where did we ever have to worry about the whole world literally seeing embarrassing pictures, letters, etc back in the day. Forwarding the nude pictures via MMS in the cell phones and finding their way into social pages like Myspace,Facebook,Friendster,Hi5,etc Forums like this, and image hosting sites usually means you live in infamy. And once it is in the internet, it's there forever. Even if hypothetically, you magically eradicate them from the internet, someone could just as easily downloaded them into their hard drives or external hard drives and image hosting and file hosting sites.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:56 AM
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There seems to be a big chunk of the story that's missing though. This girl obviously had some other problems going on. A nude photo alone would not make a normal person hang herself...
My thoughts exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzanne
laws aren't the answer people need to take responsibility for decisions they make
parents need to take responsibility for how they raised or did not raise their children
Agreed 100%. And even if the parents had made better choices, that's still no guarantee that their daughter was not mentally ill/unbalanced.

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Originally Posted by musclefox
This is a great idea...I hope this law passes before my kids get to high school.
Are you kidding?

Looking to the government for parenting solutions is absolutely the wrong course of action.

It's one thing for parents to seek to educate others - I'm not going to argue against that - but to say there should be government mandates on non-threatening youthful expression is just...nuts.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:07 PM
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laws aren't the answer people need to take responsibility for decisions they make
parents need to take responsibility for how they raised or did not raise their children
I totally agree.

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Originally Posted by FemFlex View Post
Are you kidding?

Looking to the government for parenting solutions is absolutely the wrong course of action.

It's one thing for parents to seek to educate others - I'm not going to argue against that - but to say there should be government mandates on non-threatening youthful expression is just...nuts.
I agree.

While it is tragic, I have rarely seen anyone so unwilling to own up to her own parental malfeasance as this girl's mom. She has what we used to refer to in educational academia as "external locus of control": Someone else should have stopped this. There ought to be a law is a common lament these days, but it is almost always misguided.

The first and best governance is self-governance. Maybe the mom should have taught her daughter:

(1) Always assume that any image of yourself that leaves your control will someday be seen by the world.

(2) Dating someone for 1 to 2 months is not enough to make the sort of character judgment about them that warrants the level of trust the daughter showed.

I can hardly see anything but bad outcomes for legislations based on this tragedy. It will be one more example of parents ceding to government what should be their own responsibility. Good grief, we have parents dialing 9-1-1 because their children are refusing to get in bed on time. What next?
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:18 PM
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Are you kidding?

Looking to the government for parenting solutions is absolutely the wrong course of action.

It's one thing for parents to seek to educate others - I'm not going to argue against that - but to say there should be government mandates on non-threatening youthful expression is just...nuts.
Excellent point However, FemPhysiqueFan makes an excellent point. On one hand, it's the same ol' song and dance: The bully's are bullying. On the other hand, now that we are in 21st century society, there are new ways to bully: CyberBullying is a Huge problem.


During the elections of 06', Joel Biden, son of Joe Biden, ran for office in my state of delaware. I remember One of his unique platforms being something like: "Since I am young, I can relate to new problems. Many of these new problems include crimes on the internet. This is a brand new 'shade of gray' for us all" (not joels exact words, btw)

All I'm saying is come up with guidelines to keep kids from going too far in the wrong direction. After that, your'e right, it's up to the kids to seek help if they have other problems (and I'm not saying this girl didn't). However, It is totally uncalled for by her "boyfriend" to do what he did ("sexting"). And as Ibar points out.....the alternative could be "going postal".
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:47 PM
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Very sad and unfortunate ending to a seemingly amazing young life.

I agree there should be some type of cyber laws that address character defamation, but how do you go about defending someone after they make a decision to send out a picture like that. It's a catch 22. There are many people that can be blamed here and that played contributing roles in the outcome, but it was a poor (probably impulsive) decision that had unpredictably dire consequences......very tragic.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:25 PM
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I totally agree.



I agree.

While it is tragic, I have rarely seen anyone so unwilling to own up to her own parental malfeasance as this girl's mom. She has what we used to refer to in educational academia as "external locus of control": Someone else should have stopped this. There ought to be a law is a common lament these days, but it is almost always misguided.

Good point. Why do so many of today's parents think it's appropriate to blame everyone but themselves for their child's behavior.

The first and best governance is self-governance. Maybe the mom should have taught her daughter:

(1) Always assume that any image of yourself that leaves your control will someday be seen by the world.

(2) Dating someone for 1 to 2 months is not enough to make the sort of character judgment about them that warrants the level of trust the daughter showed.

I can hardly see anything but bad outcomes for legislations based on this tragedy. It will be one more example of parents ceding to government what should be their own responsibility. Good grief, we have parents dialing 9-1-1 because their children are refusing to get in bed on time. What next?
OMG, let's not go there!! Child Protective Services get called all the time. Parents are notorious for trying to use the threat of a group home to modify their child's behavior.

I'd like parents to realize if they can't manage the behaviors of a child they birthed the likelihood of a counselor/therapist doing so is ZERO!!!

This situation is just so unfortunate. Yes bullying and has existed forever...BUT, if she wouldn't have sent that picture she wouldn't have been tormented.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:02 PM
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OMG, let's not go there!! Child Protective Services get called all the time. Parents are notorious for trying to use the threat of a group home to modify their child's behavior.

I'd like parents to realize if they can't manage the behaviors of a child they birthed the likelihood of a counselor/therapist doing so is ZERO!!!

This situation is just so unfortunate. Yes bullying and has existed forever...BUT, if she wouldn't have sent that picture she wouldn't have been tormented.
I could not disagree with you more!! My son was having some serious issues freshman year,he was failing out of school and extremley depressed about it which resulted in him hurting himself. As a concerned mother there seemed to be little I could do to help to build him back up. THE BEST thing I did was put him in therapy so he could have a nuetral party help him work thru things he was not comfortable telling me. The result.. Honor roll, happy well adjusted young man the I am so very proud of. It is tuff and hard work to face your fears with the right guidence it can be done...
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Chawk1 View Post
I could not disagree with you more!! My son was having some serious issues freshman year,he was failing out of school and extremley depressed about it which resulted in him hurting himself. As a concerned mother there seemed to be little I could do to help to build him back up. THE BEST thing I did was put him in therapy so he could have a nuetral party help him work thru things he was not comfortable telling me. The result.. Honor roll, happy well adjusted young man the I am so very proud of. It is tuff and hard work to face your fears with the right guidence it can be done...

Glad to hear someone with first hand experience here. Most of us or some of us just tried to think things through in our head. Logically going over hypotheticals and simulations because we don't have our own kids yet. And in some cases basing it on experiences we had or witnessed....
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