The singer recently started the online campaign against cyberbullying, citing one site in particular for posting upsetting comments about her 16-year-old son. "I can't describe the anger I felt at my son being ridiculed continuously by MediaTakeOut.com," Chilli wrote.
"My son had no choice in who his mother was just like many other celebrity kids do not. It isn’t fair that our children have to deal with cyberbullying because of the career choice of their parents. Anyone under the age of 18 should not be ridiculed or targeted by MediaTakeOut.com or any other website."
She added that it's not just a matter of pride, it's a health issue for the child and the community. "Kids who experience bullying are more likely to experience mental health issues that affect their ability to sleep, eating patterns, loss of interest in activities, health complaints, and decreased academic achievement. These issues can continue to persist in the victim through adulthood. In a minimal number of cases targets of bullying may retaliate by using extreme violence. For instance, 12 out of the 15 school shooters in the 1990s were victims of bullying. Victims of bullying are also 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide."
Fred Mwangagahunga, editor of MediaTakeOut, has since issued a public apology and a promised to "take action" against the staffer responsible for the posts and put in place "safeguards" to make sure it doesn't happen again.
"MediaTakeOut.com has a strict policy against criticizing children, whether children of celebrities or otherwise. It's not clear how an article that clearly violated our stated policy was published, but rest assured that I will get to the bottom of it," he wrote. "Our sincere apologies go out to Tron, Chilli, his family and anyone else that were offended by our comments."
As of press time, the petition has over 2,000 signatures.
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(Photo: Courtesy Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas)