Sandi Hammons Addresses Reports of
Bullying and Other Violations


Throughout the past two years, I have received numerous reports alleging harm to certain practitioners, trainers, vendors, businesses, products and others within the permanent makeup industry. Reports include alleged “cyberbullying”, threats, slander, defamation, Internet harassment, extortion and other forms of abuse. Certain “ethically-challenged” individuals and even some “leaders” appear to condone or even encourage such activities. Most concerning are allegations of more serious consequences to technicians, vendors and trainers involving emotional, physical and financial harm.

Discussions regarding the issue of “bullying” typically involve children, however, bullying by both children and adults is a growing concern and has gained public awareness because there have now been several suicide deaths following incidents of so-called “cyberbullying”. Most recently, Lori Drew, age 49, was found guilty of violations relating to her participation in the creation of a fake profile for a non-existent 16-year-old boy named “Josh Evans” on MySpace.com. The account was used to emotionally manipulate 13-year-old Megan Meier, who later killed herself. Other publicized cases include Rachael Neblett, Ryan Halligan, and Jeffrey Johnston; they were all victims of cyberbullies and they all eventually committed suicide. Numerous other less publicized cases exist.

Cyberbullying can be especially cruel because of its potentially instant and widespread penetration and its repeated perpetration on Internet threads that serve as a daily reminder and gradual chipping away at one’s psyche. Debbie Johnston, mother of teenager, Jeffry Johnston, wrote:

“With the keyboard as his weapon, a bully violated the sanctity of my home and murdered my child just as surely as if he had crawled through a broken window and choked the life from Jeff with his bare hands. It was not a death that was quick and merciful. It was carried out with lies, rumors and calculated cruelty portioned out day by day.”


Sandi Hammons: “Few understand the utter powerlessness, shame and emotional stress associated with acts of cyberbullying unless they have been a target. I wish I could say that I didn’t understand the cruelty and emotional chipping away at one’s soul that Jeffrey and Debbie Johnston must have endured at the hands of a cyberbully. I am a very competent, resourceful, spiritually-grounded and successful adult human being and my personal experience as a victim of bullying has been especially distressing. While I cannot speak for all of those individuals and businesses in our industry who have been bullied, defamed and/or threatened and others who feel their pleas have gone unheard, I can tell you that I am in the process of protecting my rights and reputation. I am hopeful that all technicians, trainers and vendors will be able to compete in the market place in the future without the types of abuses many of us have suffered at the hands of a very small percentage in our industry.”