Izabel Laxamana, a 13-year-old girl in Tacoma, Washington died by suicide after jumping off a highway overpass last Friday.
Days before, Laxamana’s father Jeff had reportedly punished her for an unspecified reason by cutting off her hair and uploading a video to YouTube.
Jezebel reports that Laxamana got out of the passenger seat of her grandmother’s car on the South 48th Street overpass, climbed over the railing and jumped off the bridge onto Interstate 5, landing on a car. She was taken to Seattle hospital, Harborview Medical Center, where she died on Saturday.
The original 15-second video that is supposedly of Izabel, filmed by her father, has been removed. But one of Laxamana’s friends shared it by taping the original on his phone. The video, titled, “The bad side of social media shaming: Izzy’s Story” was uploaded, and the poster wrote in the description, “The purpose of this upload is to hopefully discourage another parent from engaging in shame videos.”
The video opens with a shot of a short-haired girl in a black t-shirt staring blankly at the camera, in what appears to be a garage.
“The consequences of getting messed up, man, you lost all that beautiful hair,” a male voice can be heard saying from behind the camera. The video pans down, where long locks of black hair are scattered on the ground. “Was it worth it?”
“No,” she responds quietly.
“How many times did I warn you?” he asks.
“A lot,” she replies, barely audibly.
Laxamana’s father made a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral costs, but has since taken it down after accumulating well over $8,000. The family that had their car totaled after Laxamana landed on it is also raising money on GoFundMe for a reliable car and any doctors visits needed due to the trauma caused by the incident.
It is unknown what else could have contributed to her decision to commit suicide, whether it be bullying at school or trouble with family in her home life, but in a Google Plus post from last year, she writes about feeling bullied at school and thanks Youtuber superkian13 for making videos and sharing his experience with feeling alone.
I feel hated most of the time im in school i feel looked down on and i get judged alot…. But what keeps me going is people like kian who have gone through the same thing as me… In a school with so many people its weird to say “i feel alone” but the truth is that you really do feel alone. So thanks for everything kian….
Many people on the internet are angry at the father for posting the video up in the first place to use social media shaming to add on to his daughter’s punishment. They argue that public shaming is not a suitable way to punish a child.
Others insist that it is not the father’s fault, as it was only cutting her hair off and she admitted that he gave her many warnings in the past.
According to HNGN, a parent of one of Izabel’s “close friend” said that the father had also “cut her undergarments” and “destroyed her clothing.” Others stated that her father constantly abused her but his ill treatment towards her was never addressed; however, it is unknown if these statements are true.
Outside the school that Laxamana attended, Giaudrone Middle School, enormous pile of flowers, stuffed animals and chalk messages have been left by students in tribute to her, and the memorial site was filmed and posted to Youtube.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you’re in crisis or feeling suicidal, please call 1-800-273-8255. You can also chat online with someone from NSPL at any time, day or night.