“You’re supposed to be my mom! You’re supposed to be on my side!” Megan yells to her mother, Tina Meier, as she runs up the stairs to her room. Not more than twenty minutes later, after having been talking to her husband in the kitchen, Tina says she had an awful feeling and ran up to Megan’s room to check on her. She found her in her closet. She had hung herself that rainy Monday, Oct. 16, 2006.
Megan Taylor Meier was born on November 6 1992, first daughter to Tina and Ronald Meier. Her mother says she came into this world with a boom, very loud and outgoing. Megan suffered from ADD and depression but had started seeing a therapist after she had mentioned suicide when she was in third grade. She attended her eighth grade year at a new school, Immaculate Conception, in Dardenne Praire. She, just like a lot of teenagers, dealt with self-esteem issues and also weight issues. She had an on and off again girlfriend down the street from where she lived. Her mother says they spent most of seventh grade being friends one day and not friends the next day. Megan decided to end this unstable friendship.
Tina Meier founded the non-profit Megan Meier Foundation in December of 2007. The foundations mission is to promote awareness and educate people on the issues surrounding bulling, cyber bullying, and suicide. She is recognized as an expert on bullying, cyber bullying, and Internet safety. Tina travels through out the country to speak and address the issues of bullying in today’s world. She speaks at schools to students and administrators, parents, counselors, youth rallies, and to law enforcement. She shares Megan’s story so that she may teach others the importance of learning how to help prevent bullying.
One day Megan had asked her mother if she could sign on to MySpace, Tina said that was okay and signed her on. She had just gotten a friend request from a “hot” guy named Josh Evans. “Mom! Mom! Mom! Look at him!” Tina remembers, Megan asks her mother if she could please add him. Tina did not know who it was and asked if they had mutual friends, they did not. But she decided to let her add him anyways as she had always monitored her daughter’s account. In fact her and her husband are the only ones that had the password to Megan’s account. For several weeks Megan exchanged message with Josh Evans. His profile said he had just recently moved to their town from Florida, he was homeschooled and played the guitar. She had been happy and appeared rosy her mother remembers, during the weeks she was talking to Josh, she would come home after school and run to the computer and ask to be logged on to MySpace.
On Sunday, Oct. 15, 2006 Megan had received a puzzling message from Josh. “I don’t know if I want to be friends with you anymore because I’ve heard that you are not very nice to your friends.” Tina recalls.
Megan responded: “What are you talking about?”
Then on Monday, Oct. 16, 2006 Megan came from home from school and asked her mother if she could be logged on to MySpace to see if Josh had responded to her. She signed her on but was in a hurry to get her younger daughter to an appointment. Tina recalls leaving in a hurry and could tell that her daughter was upset, she told her to sign off right away.
Once she arrived to the orthodontist she called Megan to check on her and make sure she signed off.
She tells her “No, Mom. They are all being so mean to me.”
“You’re not listening to me, Megan! Sign off, now!” Tina responds.
Just a short while after she calls her mother back, she was in tears.
“They are posting bulletins about me.” A bulletin is like a survey. “Megan Meier is a slut. Megan Meier is fat.”
Tina returned home and ran to the computer where Megan was. Telling her she was upset that she did not listen to her and sign out of Myspace when she was told. Tina was upset about the vulgar language she had seen her daughter had used in responding back to people. Megan ran up the stairs to her bedroom, yelling at Tina, “You’re supposed to be my mother! You’re supposed to have my back!”
Her father, Ronald Meier recalls that he ran into Megan on her way to her room. He grabbed her and she told him kids had been saying horrible things to her and she didn’t understand why.
Megan went to her room and both Tina and Ron talked about what had happened.
Tina recalls on this rainy October evening having an awful feeling. She runs to Megan’s room to find her in her closet. She had hung herself and died in the hospital the next day, Oct. 17, 2006.
Several weeks after this tragic accident the Meier’s find out that Josh Evans was never real. It was a profile made up by the girl down the street that Megan had ended her friendship with, and also the help of her Mother Lori Drew and a co-worker of Lori’s. They used this account to bully Megan.
Later Lori Drew would be charged in the case at the Los Angels Courthouse. “A federal jury here issued what legal experts said was the country’s first cyber bullying verdict Wednesday, convicting a Missouri woman of three misdemeanor charges of computer fraud for her involvement in creating a phony account on MySpace to trick a teenager, who later committed suicide.” (NYTimes)
All Tina has fought for and wants is the justice that her daughter deserves. She has been an amazing inspiration in helping to teach about the dangers of bullying and how it can completely change a life.
Today Tina Meier is 46 her and Husband Rob have since split up, but both still reside just a few miles apart. Tina has estimated she has talked to 210,000 people in 33 states since her daughters death. Her essential ruth is that the best way to stop bullying is for students and peers to step in and call out the bully, and that takes education. Lori Drew has still never apologized for her involvement in this tragic accident and the family has since moved out of state.
This Story Was Posted in the St. Charles Journal on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 by Steve Pokin. “Megan’s Story.” Megan Meier Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.
Steinhauer, Jennifer. “Verdict in MySpace Suicide Case.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 26 Nov. 2008. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.