16-Year-Old Kills Herself Because She's Afraid of Getting in Trouble for Drinking

Heartbreaking 8

shotsA 16-year-old girl in northeast London allegedly jumped off a bridge onto a highway below after being nervous that she was going to get in trouble for drinking at school. Wendy Maguire and some friends decided to take shots of vodka one morning before class, and Wendy was eventually sent to the principal's office when teachers smelled alcohol on her breath. While waiting for administrators to get off the phone with her parents, she managed to slip away onto the school bus when the secretary turned her back. A little while later, she reportedly took her own life.

While Wendy's parents maintain that this wasn't a suicide, the court ruled it one earlier this week. At the time of death, she was 50 percent over the legal drink and drive limit in England.

Operating under the (possibly incorrect) assumption that she did, in fact, commit suicide because she was worried about getting in trouble for drinking at school, this story raises an interesting point.

Teens are going to make really, really stupid mistakes. Sometimes that means having unprotected sex, sometimes that means cheating on a test, sometimes that means drinking at school, or at a party, or on the 50-yard line at midnight. Pushing the boundaries is part of their developmental DNA, and while, yes, they should know right from wrong and there should be consequences for their actions, there should also, at the same time, be a safety net.

When I was an idiotic teen, I was told over and over by my parents that if I ever needed help, I could call them, no questions asked. I'm sure most parents operate the same way -- call me if you're in trouble and we'll figure it out together.

Then, after the problem was solved (and possibly after some food and a good night's sleep), the topic of punishment would be broached.

Maybe if Wendy knew that the most important thing was her well-being and safety, she wouldn't have gone to such drastic actions to avoid the consequences. Sounds like a safety net would've been life-saving in her case.

Do you tell your teens that they can call you for help, no matter what?


Photo via kirti poddar/Flickr

drugs & alcohol


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nonmember avatar Olivia

This doesn't make sense. If she was drinking Vodka, the teachers wouldn't have been able to smell it on her. Vodka doesn't have a smell.

Megan Lee

I HATE it when people claim vodka doesn't have a smell.
I worked in a bar for 3 years, yes.  It smells like ALCOHOL.

BPayne09 BPayne09

Vodka very much has a smell...

3monk... 3monkeesmama

Yes Vodka smells like rubbing alcohol. But to answer the question, yes we have a safety net available for our children and I know they will use it because they have. I have always told my kids that nothing is more important than getting them home safely or helping them work toward a solution for a situation that seems overwhelming.

wobbl... wobblesnorts

This is a topic of a suicide child....not if vodka has a smell.  Where are your brains....compassion.  Discussion of suicide should be discussed.....discussion on how to deal with things--happenings in your life---learn how to communicate with your family no matter what....learn self worth..........etc etc etc....and not to blame others --suicides are on the rise in teenagers.  My sympathy to the family, and friends for their loss.

Twist... TwistedBella

Regardless of the news story, or what others are saying, nobody will ever really know what this young lady was thinking before she took her own life. But to think it was something as simple as avoiding her parent's wrath, my heart goes out to her. With that said, I'm far from a push over with my teenagers and I ALWAYS stay 3 steps ahead of them for the most part, without them ever finding out. I hack their Facebook pages, sneak into their phones, and pry into their bags regularly. Aside from that, I am very 'open' with each of them and have formed different relationships between each of them and myself that allow them to feel safe and comfortable enough to come and talk with me about anything at all!! Do I cringe and gasp and some of the topics that are brought to me at times? Absolutely!!! But as a young mother who was pregnant with my oldest biological teen at only 17, I really am very genuine when I tell them that I understand how they feel and keep and I truly do keep an open mind about the things they each go through. Do I want my teens to ever go on a date, experiment with drugs/alcohaul, or get excited feelings that lead to them thinking about sex, etc? HELL no! but if they are going to make the decision to go in one or any of those directions, I'd rather them feel comfortable about coming to me for advice or help than to hide and sneak around to do it behind my back.

Carolyn Bon

She was drunk,left school jumped off the bridge..In Ny a Young Man was hit on the train tracks on his 18th Birthday DRUNK .Thinking is skewed when DRUNK.R.I.P.Wendy.

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