By all accounts Tovonna Holton, 15, was a pretty girl with a bright future ahead of her at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel, Florida. But all of that changed last weekend when a video of her taking a shower at school without her knowledge was circulated using Snapchat by mean classmates. Her mother, Levon Holton-Teamer, saw that her daughter was upset and at first did not know about the video and the cyber bullying that her daughter was going through. According to her mother she stated, “‘Mommy, I owe them; I owe them.” Tovonna took her mother’s gun from her purse, without her knowledge, and ended her life.
According to her mother, she sent Tovonna to clean her room and minutes later discovered her daughter was dead. “I go to the bathroom; 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,” he mother said.
Her family was shocked and wanted answers as to why their loved one committed suicide, and they soon found the answer on Facebook. When Tovonna’s aunt, Angel Scott, went on Facebook and asked her niece’s friends if they knew what was going on, she was shocked when she learned about the nude video. According to Scott, “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 three something that afternoon.”
The school district heard about the bullying complaints and the video and turned the information over to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, which is now investigating Tovonna’s suicide. Tovonna’s picture has been shared thousands of times on social media with the #stopbullying hashtag. The teen’s family is calling for justice.