Connecticut teenager Brianna Brochu learned a couple of important lessons recently: Bullying often backfires, and be careful what you share online.
Brochu, a Harwinton resident, found herself standing before a judge in Hartford Superior Court Tuesday facing charges of criminal mischief and breach of peace. The 18-year-old is accused of tampering with her University of Hartford roommate Chennel Rowe’s belongings to a degree which far exceeded typical college hijinks.
Brochu is alleged to have smeared bodily fluids on Rowe’s things, and appeared to admit to this in a social media post. “After one and a half months spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons on her backpack, putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn’t shine, and so much more, I can finally say goodbye to Jamaican Barbie,” Brochu wrote on Instagram.
When the damning post came to light, Brochu was expelled from the university, and hit with two criminal charges.
Upon learning of Brochu’s Instagram post, Rowe took to social media herself, stating in a Facebook Live video: “While I’ve been here, I’ve been getting sick. Not knowing why, I’ve been getting sick. It started with throat pain. I thought maybe because it’s colder up here, I’m just probably catching a cold. The sore throat pain got worse and it was just throat pain. And this was happening for about a month. It got to the point where I had extreme throat pain where I couldn’t sleep, to the point where I couldn’t speak. Like, I’d try to whisper and I could barely whisper.”
This bizarre story has made headlines nationwide, in part, because Brochu is white and Rowe is black.
For this reason, some believe Brochu should also be charged with a hate crime.
In court Tuesday, no new charges were brought against the teen, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be. Brochu’s case has been continued to Dec. 18.
Brochu has already paid quite a price. Along with being booted from school and having her disturbing Instagram message go viral, her words will continue to haunt her down the road.
Actions – both in the real world and online – have consequences.