School districts in the Rochester area are responding to a disturbing viral video that’s making the rounds on social media.
Kaitlyn Davis, a 12-year-old girl from Georgia, took her own life in late December – and a video of it was posted to her Facebook.
Although the video was removed, it leaked across the internet, prompting schools in the Rochester area to issue warnings to parents.
The Rochester City School District told parents and us in a statement, “Please be aware of your child’s social media presence. If your child has come across this video, we encourage you to engage in a conversation that allows your child to express his or her feelings.”
The Monroe County Council of School Superintendents also told us, “Immediate steps were taken to block the social media site within Monroe County districts. Messages were sent from districts to alert parents to the presence of the video and to provide resources.”
We sat down with Irondequoit Police, who told us that once the video is out on social media, it’s almost impossible to track down copies.
“What we would try to do, if that situation ever occurred, we would try to figure out who the followers are, see who’s videotaping it,” said Officer Andrew Whitiker.
Mental health experts chimed in too, saying the best way for parents to deal with the video now is to have an open discussion about it at home.
“Even if they don’t want to talk about it, you’ve opened it up. You’ve said, ‘It’s ok for us to have a dialogue about this,’” said Patricia Woods of the Mental Health Association of Rochester. “So then, the child maybe doesn’t want to talk to you then and there, but they come back to you in a couple hours and say, ‘Gee, mom, I’ve been thinking this through.’”
Several other schools also released statements, saying the school’s counseling teams are available for students.