October 12, 2012
Bullied teen commits suicide after posting video
By MICHAEL MUI, QMI Agency
VANCOUVER - A 15-year-old Vancouver area girl killed herself Wednesday after posting a YouTube video where she told her story of being bullied.
Amanda Todd switched schools three times to escape, and reached out last month through a YouTube video.
“Everyday I think why am I still here?” the teen wrote on cards, which she showed the camera.
The Coquitlam, B.C., teen wrote that the bullying began when she was in Grade 7 when she made the mistake to “flash” her breasts on a webcam.
A threat was then sent to her on Facebook from a stranger, saying, “If you don’t put on a show,” those images would be sent to everyone she knew.
“He knew my address, school, relatives, friends, family names,” she wrote, adding police notified her images were distributed that Christmas break.
“I can never get that photo back.”
She lost all her friends and respect. She sat at lunch alone. When she thought she found a boy she liked, it just got worse. His girlfriend confronted her outside a new school. She was attacked.
“The girl and two others just said, ‘Look around, nobody likes you,’” Todd wrote. “A guy then just yelled, ‘Just punch her already.’ So she did … she threw me to the ground and punched me several times.
“Kids filmed it. I was all alone and left on the ground. I felt like a joke in this world.”
Her father found her later that day lying in a ditch. When he took her home, she drank bleach and was hospitalized, but “nobody cared.”
University of British Columbia professor Jennifer Shapka, a bullying expert, said it seems Todd tried every way possible to get help. It was clear from her video she was already attending counselling, had the support of her parents, and teachers were aware of the bullying.
“Hopefully this will be a wake-up call that in B.C., bullying is a real problem,” she said. “The way to combat this has to be with youth themselves. We need to harness the youth voice in the venue where this is happening.”
On social media and blogs, those who knew Todd, and thousands of others around the world, expressed their outrage and shared her video.
“You see this girl right here? Yesterday she took her own life due to bullying,” wrote one blogger. “This was my friend, someone’s daughter, someone’s cousin, and she was loved by many.”
B.C. Premier Christy Clark posted her own online video in response to Todd’s death.
“Bullying has to stop. Every child, every one, needs to be able to feel safe at school,” she said.
“When we send our kids to school we need to know that they are going to come home safe.”
Mounties didn’t respond for comment Thursday on whether they investigated the distributed pictures.