A British teenage girl committed suicide for fear she would be labeled a “racist” after sending a picture in jest to her friends in a private message.
Phoebe Connop, a 16 year old and a talented gymnast, sent her friends a picture in which she had darkened her skin tone and put a scarf around her head. In the message, she told her friends that the parents of the young Asian man she was seeing would only accept her if she looked like she did in the photograph, according to the Telegraph.
One of her ‘friends’ leaked the photo, and reports say that Phoebe received some initial negative feedback for the photo.
Her father dropped her off from school early July 7 recalling that his daughter didn’t feel well and wanted to go home to rest. When he returned home, he found that Phoebe had hung herself.
Her father told the press that “she had shown me no indication in the weeks leading up to her death that there was anything wrong, let alone anything that would lead her to do this.”
The detective in-charge of investigating Miss Connop’s case stated: “There had been some negative reaction (to the photo) and she confided in her friend, who did take the image down at her request, that she was scared of what the reaction might be from the Asian community in her area,” the Sun reports.
Following the suicide, her school opened up an online forum for students, teachers, and members of the community to post their thoughts and feelings about Phoebe.
Phoebe’s principal, Stephen Lanckham, said, “We in the Windsor community are deeply saddened by this sudden and tragic loss.” He went on to say that the community will remember her as comforting, warm, and caring.
Lanckham concluded his statements with:”Our thoughts and prayers are with Phoebe’s parents, family and close friends at this difficult time and we will offer all the support and care we can to help. Phoebe will be lovingly remembered by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.”
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