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Douglas C. Burton

Superintendent of Schools

25 High Street

Fort Plain, NY 13339




Jr./Sr. High School News

Teen dating violence speaker shares tragic story with Fort Plain students

Vicki Crompton didn’t come to Fort Plain Jr./Sr. High School on Wednesday, April 25 to lecture the students. She said she wasn’t there to prove a point or share shreds of data.

She simply stated she came for one reason: to share a story.

About 25 years ago, her 15-year-old daughter, Jenny, was murdered by her abusive 18-year-old boyfriend, who is now serving life in prison without the Speaker on teen dating violencepossibility of parole. Since then, Vicki has been has traveled the country in effort to educate students and parents on the problem of teen dating violence, grief, and victimization. In 2003 she co-authored the book, “Saving Beauty from the Beast: A Guide for Parents and Teens.”

The Family Counseling Center Inc. of Fulton County Domestic Violence Program sponsored the presentation along with the school’s SADD organization. SADD advisor Jenn Rivenburgh said she hoped the presentation would raise awareness about teen dating violence.

“I think this is a real issue with real victims that our students need to hear about,” she said.
The students in grades 9-12 packed the high school auditorium during Vicki’s talk and for almost hour, seemed to listen intently. Vicki began her presentation with a video from the Oprah Winfrey show where Oprah recounted what happened to Jenny.

“I’m sure you figured out (from watching the video) that this happened about 25 years ago,” Vicki told the students. “It’s an old story, because as you can see, the hairdos and technology are different than today.

“But human nature doesn’t change.”

Vicki told the students about the day she met her daughter’s boyfriend, Mark Smith, and how he lied about his age during the first five minutes. She then explained how her daughter was only 14 when they met, and how only her daughter’s friends knew how controlling and manipulative Mark became.

“I’ve had many students ask me how come I didn’t make them break up, and I tell them it seemed like a typical relationship,” she said. “None of the adults in her life knew how much he manipulated her.”

Vicki said Mark didn’t want Jenny seeing any of her friends or family members, and he would always show up to where she was. By the end of Vicki’s talk, some students had tears in their eyes when she shared what happened to her daughter. She then talked about her “overwhelming grief” before leaving the students with a message.

“Mark only hit Jenny once. I want you to know that someone trying to control you is the root of this problem,” she said.

“Anybody is capable of this controlling behavior.”