Written by S. Bowyer

 

 

  



  Dina Van Cleve
(Jenn Proske) is a girl that has everything going for her, in her mother's eyes. Her grades are high, her sporting ability even higher, and she has a loving boyfriend and many friends. But when her mother finds her dead, she knows something in the puzzle's missing. What happened to her daughter bad enough for her to take her own life? It soon comes out, Dina was sexting with her boyfriend, and the evidence destroyed her life.

 

     The film is loosely based on the Jessica Logan case in 2008. Jessica, an 18-year-old student in Ohio, sent a nude photo to her boyfriend, which he passed onto girls at school after they broke up. She was called a slut and a whore, and became afraid to go to school, wrapped in depression. Her mother was not aware there was any such happenings, until she received messages from school stating Jessica was skipping school. Mrs. Logan instead drove her daughter to school, taking her car away. Her daughter mentioned there were photos involved and she was being harrassed but her mother was still not aware of the nature of the images.

     Towards the end of the semester the story came out to her mother and the community at large. Sycamore High School were aware of the harrassment amongst the students, but Jessica's mother suggests they didn't do enough to stop it. The only action taken was a staff member asked one of the 16-year-old students to delete the images from her phone, and never speak to Jessica again. Mrs. Logan wanted to speak to the girls who taunted Jessica, but instead, Jessica chose another route.

     Jessica went onto local television to tell her story because she stated she didn't want others to suffer this situation too. Two months after the interview, after an acquaintance's death via suicide, Jessica hung herself in her room. Her mother quit her job and was hospitalised due to mental breakdown after finding her daughter's body.

Jessica "Jesse" Logan

 

     For Cynthia Logan, Jessica's mother, Sexting was about life and death. 

      “She was vivacious. She was fun. She was artistic. She was compassionate. She was a good kid,” Cynthia Logan told TODAY’s Matt Lauer. “I’m trying my best to get the message out there.”

      In recent surveys, it's estimated up to 40% of teens were posting or sending sexually suggestive messages. A staggering 48% of boys admitted to receiving sexual images of girls that went to their schools. Kids Helpline Australia's website states that sexting is not limited to mobile phones, but also instant messengers like Skype and social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr and Snapchat.

      Sexting consequences can be more than removal from social groups or alienation from peers. Many laws in Australia and the US can place criminal charges placed on both senders and receivers of suggestive materials. See also: Sexting's Legal Long Term Effects.

      Sexting in Suburbia lightly brushes on the long-term effects of Sexting, but plays heavily on the immediate, serious consequences. The characters are likeable, however, I spent a lot of the movie deciding if I liked Claire or not. Her role in Dina's discomfort was full of twists. 

      Public views of the film were mixed, most believing it was a good subject to cover. 

      "While the movie is negatively affected by somewhat odd and untimely flashbacks, the entire structure of storytelling does seem intact and the story turns out to be an interestingly engaging detective-kind of plot. . ."

      "What we get overall is a good detective story that is extremely personal. The most disappointing thing has to be the ending, which seems like a weird and constructed for one and one purpose only, for the message delivery. While I am not judging whether such a way of reinforcing a message is the proper way, it would certainly be much more favorable to spread the message throughout the entire movie, instead of making a scene for achieving that effect, which does not seem like a very smart choice."

      "The cover up and denial are rife when it comes to bullying, the film has good pace and follows through dramatically with flashbacks that are well timed."

      "What makes this movie so good is the ending. One will be absolutely shocked to see who the culprit was. A picture of the girl in the raw was sent all over. This picture ruined her life. This is an engrossing, timely movie. There is tragedy throughout the film."

 

      Sexting in Suburbia, AKA Shattered Silence is a Lifetime US film, available on online streaming websites. 

 

 

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