Classic High School Romance Masks Dark Secret
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In March of 2003, 15-year-old Ortralla Mosley, Tralla to her friends, was a sophomore at Reagan High School in Austin, Texas. She had everything going for her. Tralla was a bright student, adored friend, talented cheerleader and loving daughter. She was also dating the high school football star -- Marcus McTear.
Their relationship seemed perfect. They were both very athletic, popular and funny. But after months of dating, Tralla confided in a friend that Marcus was very controlling. Tralla thought she could handle it on her own and didn't tell any important adults about Marcus' behavior. Over the next few weeks, friends and family say Tralla seemed withdrawn and the tension between Marcus and Tralla kept growing.
Tralla's favorite teacher, Mrs. Conner, said that another student was concerned about Tralla -- that Marcus was telling her what she could wear, who she could talk to and whether or not she could hang out with other friends. He was calling her names and even shoved her in front of other students.
Upset and worried about Marcus, Tralla confided in Mrs. Conner that the relationship was a rollercoaster of emotions. But no one knew the extent of what was going on between Marcus and Tralla.
Finally, when Tralla broke off her relationship with Marcus McTear, the rollercoaster was finally over. Or so everyone thought.
Around 4 o'clock in the afternoon of March 28, another student burst into Mrs. Conner's classroom shouting, "Come! Come! It's Tralla!"
A Lesson In Tragedy
Marcus McTear is serving a 40 year sentence for the murder of Ortralla Mosley.
Around 4 o'clock in the afternoon of March 28, another student burst into Mrs. Conner's classroom shouting, "Come! Come! It's Tralla! Come! Come!" Ms.Conner ran into the courtyard and saw hundreds of kids shrieking and screaming, covered in blood. But, she still wasn't prepared for what she saw at the bottom of the courtyard stairwell -- Tralla lying in a pool of blood.
When Ms. Conner looked up, she saw Marcus standing at the top of a stairwell screaming with his hands up. Tragically, Ortralla Mosley died of multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Sixteen-year-old Marcus McTear was arrested and charged with the brutal murder of Ortralla Mosley. He is currently serving 40 years in an adult facility.
Tragedy Leads To Awareness
Teen Dating Violence - Stop The Silence »
As a result of Tralla's death, local agencies, schools and law enforcement officials in Austin are working to educate the community about teen dating violence.
In June of 2006, the Travis County Sheriff's Office launched a campaign to bring awareness to the issue of teen dating violence. The Travis County Sheriff's Office uses visual materials, educational workshops and outreach events to educate teens, parents, school officials and other law enforcement agencies about the dangers of teen dating violence. More than 30 schools and non-profit agencies in Austin have completed the Travis County Sheriff's Office educational program.
The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault is also working to prevent unhealthy relationships. Through their program, Students Taking Action for Respect (S.T.A.R.) youth leaders train, practice and present awareness programming on sexual harassment and assault to their peers in schools and community groups. The student developed program teaches teenagers about unhealthy relationships from an authentic source -- students themselves.
Women's Advocacy Project is a Texas nonprofit legal organization promoting tools of justice to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Women's Advocacy Project has launched the Teen Justice Initiative, which advocates for survivors of teen dating violence. By collaborating with groups working on domestic violence, sexual assault, and youth issues, the Teen Justice Initiative increases awareness of teen legal rights among young people, parents, schools, and the community, and also provides free and confidential legal advice and referrals to victims of teen dating violence in Texas and legal representation to minors seeking protective orders in Travis County.
Don't let it take a brutal murder to bring awareness to the issue of teen dating abuse. Look in your community for educational programs and awareness programs so you can learn more about teen dating violence.
To find out more about the programs mentioned above, please visit:
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