Parents Aren't Responsible for Their Cyberbullying Kids (VIDEO)

Parents are suing six teenagers and their parents over cyberbullying their 16-year-old daughter. Texas parents Reymundo Esquivel and Shellie Tingle-Esquivel are enraged that their daughter's classmates allegedly created an Instagram page showing topless and bottomless teens and included their daughter on the page. It's unclear if they were real photos or fake, but the suit alleges that seven classmates "participated in making several malicious, untrue, suggestive, derogatory, inflammatory, and sexually explicit statements regarding the teen."

The Instagram page, which has since been taken down, allegedly showed many topless girl teens and bottomless boy ones and the page was named after the high school they all went to, Klein, combined with a very derogatory term. Apparently the bullying had been going on for a year.

The parents are suing the classmates for libel and their parents for negligence. The bullied teen's father told Click 2 Houston:

It's not just something you see on the news. It could be happening to your child, and your child may not be telling you about it.

Oddly, the parents also told the outlet that their daughter's photo "wasn't necessarily suggestive" but that other photos on the site could be viewed as child porn.

Whatever exactly went on here, it's definitely time that teens realized that slapping whatever they want up on the Internet about other kids is something that should be punished. When I was a teen, we didn't do this kind of stuff -- the Internet wasn't as big as it is now, thank god -- but that time I spray painted the local pool's changing room? Yeah, I spent the whole summer painting it over. I got punished.

Nowadays, whatever goes up about someone on the Internet is likely to remain there forever -- possibly disrupting job searches and relationships long past when the teens committed their little jokes, shenanigans, and bullying.

As for suing the parents -- well, that's a gray area. Certainly there are parents who turn a blind eye to whatever their precious cargo are doing, even if it's nasty shit. But then there are those who simply have zero clue what's going on. It's difficult if not impossible to monitor your kids' Internet usage 24/7. Especially when kids are being given computers in grammar school for homework.

A lot of parents wouldn't even have a clue what Instagram is (I barely do!). And god knows you can lecture teens until the cows come home about proper online behavior and get nowhere with them. Forcing parents to cough up legal fees or a payout who may simply have had absolutely no idea what was happening is bit much. So I hope the Texas parents have some proof these classmates' parents were truly being "negligent."

Should the parents be sued too?

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Image via Click2Houston

bullies, school

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nonmember avatar Annoyed

Since negligence is defined as failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances yes I think the parents should be held responsible. You should know what your kids watch on TV, where they go online, who they are friends with, ect. If you don't have 15 mins a day to check your computer history what else are you dropping the ball on?

nekoy... nekoyukidoll

yes they should.  Many parents don't do enough to make sure their kid is not bullying, hells, some even encourage it.  It's just as much of the parents fault as it is the kids.

nonmember avatar Victoria

My question is did the parents suing try to contact any of the parents of the bullies before jumping to suing? I haven't seen anything so far that suggests they did. If the parents weren't given a chance to correct the problem, I don't feel they're liable. If they were given the chance, then yes, they are liable. If they knew sexually suggestive photos of underage children were being posted online by their own kids, that's a big problem. And, depending on the content, I could see charging them as accessories to distributing child porn.

Ajack324 Ajack324

They should really also be charged with distributing child pornography since it sounds like the kids were underage. It would really screw up their life so I'm not 100% sure it'd be ok, but on the the same side they really screwed up the lives of the ppl they posted photos of, like u said, the pics are there forever and who knows where they ended up. If names were included all it would take is a simple search to find them. But in answer to ure question, yea, they should def be charged as well. Like prev posters said, it takes very little time to research what ur kid is doing online.

Taisie Taisie

"...little jokes, shenanigans, and bullying."


I think that what these "kids" did is a little more than just "cyber bullying", and certainly, under no circumstances could be viewed as just "little jokes" or "shenanigans". Posting nude pictures or partially nude pictures of an underage child on the internet is unconscionable, and unacceptable!

Kattey Kattey

Of course the parents of the offenders should be sued. You may not be able to monitor access 24/7 but it is your responsibility to raise your child not to be exploitative or an asshole.

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