Phoenix/ Politics & Govt
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Published on February 22, 2024
Arizona Mom's Mission, New Law Targets Online Fiends After Son's Tragic EndSource: Unsplash/Christin Hume

To combat a harrowing trend of online predators and teen suicide, Arizona mother Paolla Jordan is wrestling with grief while fighting to reform laws that would hold accountable those who encourage self-harm among minors. Jordan's crusade for change was sparked by the tragic suicide of her 17-year-old son, Adrio Romine, who was in contact with an adult on Reddit who detailed methods of suicide in the days leading to his death in 2019.

Jordan describes finding over 120 pages of conversation between her son and a user on Reddit, a dialogue that not only shared suicidal ideation but also provided detailed advice on methods to commit suicide. She branded the unnamed individual who interacted with her son as 'definitely a monster', reflecting a mother's ire and agony. With suicide rates among Arizona teens rising, this law could be a beacon of hope and a deterrent to potential malefactors, according to 12 News.

Jordan's persistent commitment to this cause culminated in 2021 when former Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law a bill making it manslaughter for an adult to provide advice or encouragement that a minor uses to commit suicide. This legislation signifies a landmark in the state's legal system, and Jordan believes it mirrors her son's legacy in its potential to prevent future tragedies, as reported by 12 News.

In tandem with legislative achievements, Jordan alongside her daughter, Merixtell Adria, launched the LaloBoy Foundation to offer mental health support to families grappling with similar crises. Shedding light on the alarming trend of teen violence, Jordan emphasizes that these young individuals are experiencing deep-seated hurt, a pain misunderstood, often blossoming into actions that defy the boundaries of society. "It appears to me that today, these kids are hurting, they're going through a lot, they're not receiving whatever it is that they're needing," Jordan told 12 News.