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
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
“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
“Anybody is capable of this controlling