|Norm Todd (centre) speaks at a celebration of life on Sunday for his daughter, Amanda, who committed suicide after being bullied by peers. (MICHAEL MUI/24 HOURS)
Bullied Coquitlam, B.C., teen Amanda Todd would be comforted seeing the difference she’s made to bring bullying awareness to the forefront of politicians, school officials and her peers, her family told a celebration of life audience on Sunday.
Hundreds attended Coquitlam’s Red Robinson Show Theatre, just over a month after the 15-year-old committed suicide. She had been unable to bear the seemingly endless campaign of online and in-person bullying against her.
“You are paying it forward now,” Carol Todd, her mother, told the audience.
“With her passing, she continues to teach me and the rest of the world so much about compassion and kindness.”
Her death has sparked conversation among government leaders, fellow students and complete strangers to take a stand against bullying.
Since then, a new government website was launched for students to anonymously report harassment as part of B.C.’s ERASE Bullying program.
During tributes to the teen, those who knew her recalled how she was a “bubbly and spirited teen,” who excelled at numerous sports and whose cheekiness always brought smiles to everyone.
“Now Amanda can look down on us and see there’s so many great, good people in this world,” her father, Norm Todd, said.
Her cheerleading coach, Jaya Panwar, told the audience it’s important people learn from the teen and share lessons learned from the tragedy.
“Everyone here has a voice, and everyone here has power to speak up for what they believe in and what they stand for,” she said.
“When you leave here, go have a conversation and ask yourself and those around you, what do you believe in. And what do you stand for?”