Maybe it Wasn't the Nude Photo That Killed Jessie Logan

FOR DOWNLOAD MORE GALLERY In a stunning news story, it has been revealed that the parents of Ohio teen Jessie Logan, who committed suicide last summer, never even brought up the subject of a nude photo during an investigation of their daughter's death.

Logan's parents have been waging war against lawmakers, educators and students, alleging that harassment and inaction over a nude photo Jessie took of herself led directly to the suicide, and have subsequently filed a lawsuit seeking damages from just about everybody involved. They even appeared alongside Ohio lawmakers who want to enact laws criminalizing teen sexting so that future suicides can be prevented.

It turns out that the family told investigators that Jessie was distraught over the suicide of a classmate, had recently broken up with her boyfriend, and, according to one uncle, might have been pregnant. Reportedly, the parents fought for months against releasing a blood sample for a pregnancy test, which they said was negative. But in the days following the girl's death, nobody in the family even mentioned the nude photo to investigators.

The whole affair is tragic -the loss of a young life, the pain felt by family and friends, and the unsolved questions which always remain after such a senseless death will continue to haunt all those close to Jessie for as long as they live.

It's human nature for people to seek answers for events which shatter their lives, but it is the responsibility of police, lawmakers, counselors, media types and other professionals to remain calm and rational in the face of runaway emotion. In the case of Jessie Logan, it appears that everyone took the nude photo story and ran with it, without even examining all the other factors which likely drove the teen to her sad decision. The nude photo made for sexier television, more sensational political fodder, and contained the degree of tawdriness necessary to make this an international story.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for those aged 15 to 24. It's clear that more preventative measures are needed, that parents, teachers and students need to be made more aware of the warning signs and how to deal with them before it's too late. With Jessie Logan, we may never know if she was giving off any warnings, and if those warnings were ignored or unrecognized, because the nude photo took center stage and captured all the attention.

Jessie's parents claim that it was "shock" which blocked out the nude photo in their minds when initially speaking to investigators, yet this "shock" didn't prevent them from coming up with several other reasons for the suicide.

Let's hope that this lawsuit is thrown out, that the Ohio law fails to pass, and all these people get back to trying to live their lives as best they can. I know what it's like to live with unspeakable tragedy, the loss and pain never completely leave, but life always goes on somehow, and time helps to smooth the road.

Society's tug-of-war over nudity, with Puritanical revulsion on one side and endless fascination on the other, is the root cause of making this story so sensational. Until we come to grips with the fact that we all have bodies, that we are essentially all the same underneath our clothes, we will continue to see this sort of irrational, unfounded and dangerous gut reaction to expressions of teen sexuality from the keepers of a repressed society.
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