October 15, 2012
Bullied teen taunted even after death
By TYLER ORTON, QMI Agency
Those close to Amanda Todd, the Port Coquitlam, B.C., teen who took her own life Wednesday following years of torment from bullies, are outraged over Facebook groups mocking the girl even after her death.
Although numerous social media tributes and worldwide vigils popped up since Todd’s suicide last week, other web pages have posted comments and pictures ridiculing the girl for taking her own life.
But another Facebook page — Amanda Todd Reporting Team — went live over the weekend in an effort to compile reports of any inappropriate comments or images tainting the memories of the 15-year-old girl.
Mitra Rafievan, a friend of Todd’s when they both attended Maple Ridge Secondary School, said she fell down crying upon hearing of her former classmate’s passing.
“I’ve seen the Facebook pages that are still making fun of her and it kills me inside that people can be still so cruel toward (her), even after she’s dead,” the high school student told QMI Agency. “(Todd) doesn’t deserve this and her family doesn’t deserve this either.”
Philip Pol, a friend of Todd’s older brother, said in an e-mail he found the websites “disgusting,” adding “just because it is online, they feel out of touch (with) what they actually did.”
Todd posted a YouTube video about a month ago in which she explained how she had been subject to intense bullying after making the mistake of exposing her breasts over a webcam when she was in Grade 7.
She went on to describe how an online stalker forced her to switch schools three times after repeatedly sending nude photos to her peers, who in turn physically and mentally abused her.
One bullying incident resulted in Todd’s hospitalization after she came home from a fight and drank bleach.
Photoshopped images of Todd standing with bottles of bleach are among some of the tamer pictures posted online.
Meanwhile, investigators announced Saturday they have received more than 400 tips from around the globe regarding Todd’s death.
“We’re hopeful through these tips and others we will hopefully receive, they will assist us in determining who may have played a significant role in Amanda making this tragic decision,” RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen told reporters.
He added police have been in contact with Todd’s family about the inappropriate comments and pictures, and are asking people to stop.
Anyone with any information regarding Amanda's death can send a report to amandaTODDinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
An unofficial memorial service for Todd is planned for Monday at 4 p.m. at Peace Park in Maple Ridge, B.C.