A father in Tennessee hopes the story of his daughter’s death will not be in vain.
David Zint remembers all too well coming home earlier this month and finding his 14-year-old daughter Zoey passed out on the floor.
The father stuck his fingers down Zoey’s throat to prompt regurgitation, reported the Amarillo Globe-News.
“She started talking a little bit,” he said. “I looked at her and said, ‘Zoey what are you doing, girl? Why would you want to leave me?'”
He said that she said “I’m sorry, Daddy,” over and over again. She later died at the hospital.
David Zint said they later learned that their daughter had taken a cocktail of pills that night, which he and his wife believe was the result of a painful day that started with a fight between Zoey and her friends. The group was called into the counselor’s office to try to deal with the issue but the argument was revived at a track meet that afternoon.
“While at the track meet, one of the young ladies had gotten Zoey’s phone—she already knew the password and hacked into Zoey’s Instagram. She posted a whole bunch of bad stuff about herself … and then went around to everybody … and showed them the Instagram posts saying, ‘Look what Zoey posted about me,’” David Zint said.
“It just rolled downhill and everybody was against Zoey … and it devastated her.”
According to Stop Bullying, a government group, 28 percent of students in the United States have experienced bullying while 70 percent of youth have seen bullying at school.
The teenager went home and cried to her mother saying “Everybody hates me.” The mother believed that she had successfully calmed her daughter down, but Zoey went upstairs and took the pills.
Zint said he believes his daughter didn’t really know what she was doing.
He’s sharing the story in the hopes that another family doesn’t have to deal with what he and his family have dealt with.
“I don’t want any other child to have their life ruined over this, either. I’m not looking to get that kind of justice,” Zint said. “I want everybody to be aware of and know the dangers of password protection, giving your phone out to people and teaching our kids to stop hating each other and acting like you’re best friends the next day.”
Zint added, “We as a society have got to come together and stop this hate. We have to lead by example. It starts with the parents, then the kids, then the teachers and the community. It’s how we’re raising our kids … they need to choose their words—we used to say wisely—I say kindly.”
Friends of the family are holding a fundraiser for the family at Elks Amarillo on March 24.
“David, DeLee and Lexie Zint lost their precious Zoey to a senseless act of cyberbullying,” the organizers said. “We cannot bring her back to them but what we can do, as a community, is try to help this family by offering up our time and support… and hopefully raising awareness of the crisis that our youth is faced with daily.”