An 11-year-old boy sadly took his own life after a social media prank involving his girlfriend went wrong.
Tysen Benz’s 13-year-old girlfriend faked her own death, by getting her friends to post messages online to trick him into thinking she had died. Tysen’s mum, Katrina Goss, said:
She did a prank that made it look like she killed herself and used other friends and their [social media] accounts to make it look like she killed herself.
So, he believed her and said “I’m going to kill myself”.
Sadly Tysen decided to take his own life. Although he was rushed to hospital, he died three weeks later.
Katrina added that she didn’t approve of his relationship with the older girl, and she now wants her to face legal actions for pulling such a “controlling, harassing and manipulative” prank:
I’m quite angry. I feel like, yeah, they’re young and all that, but I feel like when you’re 13, you’re completely knowledgeable of your choices and you know right from wrong. You can make your own choices. I do feel like she took advantage of a younger boy to control and manipulate him.
I don’t feel like it should be taken lightly. She should be held legally responsible for this horrific prank.
I urge families to speak out, reach out and communicate with your children about life’s precious gift and the dangers of the internet and texting and how telecommunications can have the same effects as speaking face to face.
I want Tysen to be remembered as he was and all the joy he’s brought to everyone. Keep his spirit alive by standing strong & fighting against social media bullying.
It’s so sad that a life has ended before it even really began, and all because of a cruel prank. I hope that all of those girls who were involved in it feel ashamed of themselves – that’s going to be on their backs for the rest of their lives. If you’d like to help Tysen’s family, his mum has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his medical bills.