Remembering Tessa

Stefani Yates

Early Life

A tragic death has occurred due to the consistent outpouring of negative media observance. As a young child Tessa was bright, outgoing, lively, and full of happiness. She was a healthy child. She loved sports, especially soccer. Her family played every Sunday, right before their family dinner, where they would discuss the expectations of the following week, and talked and laughed.

She was studious. She was avid in class as her teachers recorded on every report card, and she completed her homework with ease. She had a small group of friends from school and various neighbors to bring her joy. With them she would shout “Red Rover!” or “Ready or Not, here I come!”. The games she played with them would last hours and the fun would never end. She was a light unto others, and always had a smile on her young face. The interactions she had with others can go on to prove to what a grand example she was as a perfect child.

The parents this evening are deeply mortified, struggling to comprehend the situation. Wishing that they had listened to Melissa Shaaf, they bury their child’s vitality. Schaaf pours out in an article that she “pushed back” from exposing her child to the realities of the world, afraid of the consequences, and she was right.


As the years grew and the days mourned on, a certain distance she grew from her family. Sundays she would spend in her room, instead of outside. Dinners were eaten separately, and not around a grand table, as schedules got busier. There was a subtle lack in effort present in her schoolwork. With this it was evident she was drawn towards the screen. She was injected with the venom of social communities. With this attachment changes in actions and morality were prevalent and soon the damage was done. Her situation can be related to other kids as “both children who watched a great deal of fantasy violence and those who watched more realistic entertainment violence, such as Cops, displayed less advanced moral reasoning strategies” (Wilson). What she saw was etched into her wellbeing, and became her. It poisoned her bloodstream and brought her to her death, which is why we are here today. The things she saw, the news ads, tabloid covers, explicit videos, they were embedded into her memory, and brought her childhood to a close. It was a loss of innocence really, the situations she uncovered. The more news she saw at such a young age, where all that needed to be worried about were the nail colors on her fingers, the more her soul was weakened until it couldn't take the pain and suffering the real world demanded any longer.