Ocklawaha, Florida — Recently, a reader contacted Ocala Post about a common problem that many parents are forced to deal with today: Facebook. After seeing the Facebook post in question, Ocala Post decided to reach out to the woman that posted it to see if she wanted to share her story.
At first, she was hesitant to talk about her experience, but then she thought it might be good to share it as a lesson for others. She didn’t want her full name published. She said she did not agree to talk about the incident for attention. She said she wanted to do it because she honestly feels that this type of behavior is an epidemic and that more parents need to do their part.
Carla H. monitors her 12-year-old daughter’s Facebook account regularly.
The Ocklawaha, Florida, mom said that on April 21, she was about to check her daughter’s Facebook messages, when her daughter began to delete some of them.
The mother said that once she prevented her daughter from deleting all of the messages she began to read them. “I could not believe my eyes. I was horrified at the language and subject matter of these messages ” Carla said.
“My daughter is a straight ‘A’ advanced placement honors student. She is very well articulated and is normally, 99 percent of the time, a good kid. I understand that she is ‘at that age,’ but in my book there is absolutely no excuse for what I read,” Carla said.
She Added, “She does not talk like that in front of me or any other part of the family. Not one person in the family has ever heard my daughter speak like that.”
She said that her family does not act in that fashion and she certainly would not expect her daughter to.
“I will not stand for my daughter acting or talking like some uneducated hood rat,” Carla said.
Carla said her daughter is a straight “A” student because of how she has raised her thus far. She said it is because of the rules she has set that her daughter has excelled the way she has.
In some of the messages, the 12-year-old referred to a boy as her “boyfriend.” He too had a colorful vocabulary, and seemingly liked to refer to girls as a slang term for a female dog combined with a popular garden tool.
Carla told Ocala Post that her daughter is not allowed to “have boyfriends,” regardless of how innocent or kid-like it might be. She said it is a distraction from what she should be concentrating on and she is far too young.
“I don’t care if ‘all of the other girls are doing it,’ those other girls are not my daughter,” Carla said.
It also appeared in the messages that Carla’s daughter was bullying another girl at the direction of the boy. Carla said she specifically asked her daughter about that.
“She told me that she was only defending herself after being verbally attacked by the girl, but I couldn’t see the rest of the messages because she succeeded in deleting some of them,” she said. “But regardless, I would never stand by and let my daughter be a bully to anyone, it’s just not right.”
The girl’s mother said that she knows some parents will criticize her for going through her daughter’s Facebook and publicly scolding her. She said she feels [that] is the problem with today’s society.
“Many parents today, are lazy,” Carla said. “I have even seen some parents advocate this kind of behavior from their child. I have also seen parents join Facebook conversations with their children’s friends and use every curse word in the book. It is that old theory of ‘monkey see, monkey do.'”
She said as a parent she is not perfect, but she would always go above and beyond her responsibilities as a parent because that’s what parents should do.
Carla said, “Parents don’t know how to be parents today, they expect the schools to raise their children.”
She went on to say, “As her mother, advocate, and example setter, I had a long discussion with her. I talked to her about her disgusting language and made it clear that this type of behavior would not be tolerated.”
“This is part of my job as a parent. Too many parents brush it off, and [that], I feel, is part of the reason why our society is going to hell, ” Carla said.
Carla said, “After I talked to her I made the decision to publicly post the consequences for her actions on her Facebook page for all of her friends to see (and maybe understand) that this type of behavior is not acceptable.”
“Issues such as this one must be addressed the first time they happen, and hopefully (for her sake) it will not happen a second time,” Carla said. “I don’t know when this type of behavior became the stigma for cool, but it has to stop.”
Ocala Post requested a few of the screenshots Carla said she had “snapped” of the conversations, as well as a screenshot of the Facebook post that she posted on her daughter’s page. However, due to the amount of redaction that would need to be done to the Facebook messages, the decision was made not to include them. The average person could figure out what type of vulgarity, filth, and slang was in the messages.
The daughter will not have access to her Facebook page until the mother feels she can be trusted again. Carla did not immediately deactivate the page. Instead, she left it up for her daughter’s friends, and, hopefully, a few of her friend’s parents to see.
The mother also suggested to her daughter that she should choose her friends more wisely while in school.
When Ocala Post asked Carla if she had a message for other parents, she replied:
“Parent your children so they grow up into decent, productive, well rounded members of the community.”