For all intents, Lesli Frye (@LesliFrye) appears to be a high school senior at Oakwood High School in Illinois. Her internet behavior appears to have gone unchecked by school officials and/or parents as she has made relatively offensive comments throughout the past two weeks (her full Timeline now is locked).
However intended, in jest or in seriousness, neither excusable, Lesli Frye (@LesliFrye) posted the tweet that now is being seen by many as emblematic of the Ferguson verdict: the divorced reality of minority issues by white counterparts. Her tweet has been attacked by hundreds, likely more by the end of the night and weeks to come. Her school’s Twitter account is slammed. She will undoubtedly face an extreme punishment from her school, as well as personal relationships.
This single tweet is important because it demonstrates the power of social media to highlight causes but also pivot lives in a moment’s notice. How better to see that than to witness in real-time how Lesli, a high school senior, barely at or short of the age to vote, can have their future swung dramatically by a comment so limited that becomes part of a moment so national.
Lesli Frye (@LesliFrye)’s account is locked now but, quite obviously, should never have been opened. No public post is limited to a hundred Followers or a small region. The recent resignation of a Nevada lawmaker and news of a comprehensive Twitter archive both highlight that what’s out there is for everyone once send is hit… And that the Internet will never forget.
PR professionals and parents alike take notice: this can happen in some scope without notice when people of any age or background have instant access to very public forums.
Update: It should be noted that Keven Forney, Interim Superintendent of Schools, has been commendable for providing brief, professional responses to those who alerted him of this tweet by Lesli. I have seen and been told of numerous conversations people have had by phone with him and received a very effective response to my email alerting him to the post above. While the school’s Twitter account has not been updated (as of ~noon EST) to note that they are aware of the situation, his handling of the crisis situation, in my opinion, eclipses efforts made by organizations like the NFL who have been caught off-guard by the actions of a ‘member’ of the collective group.