The 43rd Circuit Court is concerned by an increase in juvenile cases dealing with bullying. Chief Juvenile Officer Adrienne Lloyd says they decided to bring in a speaker to address this problem. Speaker Tina Meier is the founder of the Meghan Meier foundation and has worked to pass legislation making bullying and cyber-bullying a criminal offense. Her free presentation will be March 28.
Press Release from 43rd Circuit Judge Brent Elliot
Over the course of the last few months 43rd Circuit Judges Tom Chapman and Brent Elliott noticed a disturbing trend in the circuit’s juvenile cases. “Judge Chapman and I were increasingly concerned about the prevalence of bullying and cyber-bullying among our youth”, Presiding Judge Elliott said, “we met with Chief Juvenile Officer, Adrienne Lloyd, to see if she had any ideas to deal with the problem before it reached epidemic proportions. Her response has far exceeded our greatest expectations”.
Officer Lloyd contacted Tina Meier of the Megan Meier Foundation. Tina started the foundation in remembrance of her daughter, Megan, who passed away 5 ½ years ago, after being cyber-bullied through a social networking site called MySpace. On October 16, 2006, Tina found Megan hanging from her bedroom closet. Attempts to save her were unsuccessful and Megan passed away the next day, only weeks from her 14th birthday.
Approximately 5 weeks prior to her passing, Megan was contacted on her MySpace account by a 16 year-old boy named Josh Evans. Under restrictions and the watchful eye of her mother, Tina, Megan was allowed to develop a MySpace friendship with Josh. Unfortunately, on October 16, 2006, Josh Evans and Megan began to argue on MySpace.
A few others joined in and the horrible process of cyber-bullying began. Messages and bulletins were soon going out to hundreds of kids referring to Megan as a “slut”, “fat-ass” and worse. Overwhelmed, hysterical sobbing was followed by her suicide.
A few weeks after Megan’s death, Tina Meier was informed Josh Evans never existed. His “persona” had been fabricated by an adult neighbor named Lori Drew, whose 13 year-old daughter had been a former friend of Megan’s.
In addition to forming Megan’s Foundation, Tina Meier worked closely with state officials to pass legislation making bullying or cyber-bullying a criminal offense.
Tina has appeared on national and international television networks and now travels the country giving presentations on bullying issues.
Thanks to the efforts of Adrienne Lloyd and the juvenile office staff, on March 28 of this year, Tina Meier will address over 2,300 Forty-third Circuit school administrators and students at the Chillicothe and Plattsburg High Schools. Due to capacity limitations attendance is restricted. However, Ms. Meier has graciously given special permission for the juvenile office to record the event for future use. Sponsors are being sought to defray expenses associated with this event. If your business or organization would like to help sponsor please contact the juvenile office at 816-583-1067.