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Girl kills herself, she and her parents to blame

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post
http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Vancouver+area+teen+commits+suicide+after+telling+story+being+cyberbullied+with+video/7375941/story.html

The mother of a teenager who died Wednesday of suspected suicide wants her daughter’s anti-cyber-bullying video to be used to help other young people.

Fifteen-year-old Amanda Todd was found dead in a Port Coquitlam home at 6 p.m. Wednesday, five weeks after she posted a heartbreaking video on YouTube detailing how she was harassed online and bullied.

“I think the video should be shared and used as an anti-bullying tool. That is what my daughter would have wanted,” Carol Todd, Amanda’s mother, told The Vancouver Sun in a message on Twitter.

Click here for ways to get help if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts

By Friday morning, The Amanda Michelle Todd memorial Facebook page, created shortly after her death, had more than 2,500 "likes." An outpouring of support for the girl's friends and family were posted:

"She is a beautiful young lady. I am in tears over this," wrote Jennifer Fincher, while many other Facebook users said they hoped she was with angels in heaven.

But not all the chatter was positive. Mike Mace, whose own Facebook page says he is a member of the Canadian Military, faced a flurry of shaming comments after he posted a negative comment mocking her death.

In the comment, he suggests that it's not the bully's fault that she showed her breasts and gave out her private information on the Internet.

"You should be ashamed of yourself," wrote Amber Garofano, while another woman Ashley Soucy posted, "have a heart."

The tragedy has sparked much discussion online about cyber-bullying and what can be done to eradicate the problem.

The Vancouver Sun is joining in on that discussion. The Sun is hosting a day of dialogue on bullying at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Facebook. Visit www.facebook.com/VancouverSun to join the talk.

Click here for more photos of Amanda Todd

In September, Amanda posted a video to YouTube entitled My Story: Struggling, bullying, suicide and self harm.

In it Amanda does not speak, but instead holds up to the camera pieces of paper on which she has printed her story, one phrase at a time. She documents a painful tale of being harassed through Facebook and shunned at school, leaving her feeling alone and suicidal.

It started in Grade 8, when an embarrassing photo was circulated to her relatives, friends and schoolmates. Amanda switched schools, but the bullying continued.

“I can never get that photo back,” she writes.

Later, she was confronted by a group of teens in front of her new school and beaten up, an attack that was filmed. Despondent, Amanda went home and drank bleach.

Her harassers posted photos of bleach and commented that they wished she was dead.

Near the end of the video, she writes: “Every day I think why am I still here? ... I have nobody. I need someone.”

In a message accompanying the video post, Amanda added: “I’m not doing this (video) for attention. I’m doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong.”

Premier Christy Clark posted a short video on YouTube Thursday sending her sympathies to Amanda’s family.

“I want to say to everyone who loved her, to all her family and friends, how sorry I am about her loss,” Clark — who spearheaded a ‘Pink Shirt Day’ anti-bullying campaign while she was a radio host — says in the video.

“No one deserves to be bullied. No one earns it. No one asks for it. It isn’t a rite of passage.

“Bullying has to stop.”

Click here for ways to get help if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts

In 2008, the B.C. government declared an annual anti-bullying day, and Clark has advanced anti-bullying initiatives since becoming premier.

Amanda was a former cheerleader with the Vancouver All Stars squad based in her hometown of Port Coquitlam. She attended school there until the middle of Grade 8, when she moved to a Maple Ridge school. In February, she transferred to Coquitlam Alternate Basic Education (CABE) in Coquitlam.

Students and staff at Amanda’s school were grieving her death Thursday.

“It is a very sad case,” said Paul McNaughton, principal of CABE, where Amanda was in Grade 10.

“She was quite connected here. The staff and the students here are very much impacted. She had some very strong ties in the school and to staff in the school.

“I can tell you we feel we tried everything we could to help her when she came to us.”

In her video, Amanda says she moved schools in a futile attempt to escape her bullies.

Spokeswomen for the Maple Ridge and Coquitlam school districts would not discuss the case directly, but both said their districts take action when they receive bullying complaints.

Grief counsellors were speaking to students in both districts Thursday.

Dr. Tyler Black, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at B.C. Children’s Hospital, said the reasons people commit suicide are often very complex. He urged parents, educators and youth at risk of suicide to realize there is help through options such as www.youthinbc.com or 1-800-SUICIDE.

“The message is there are professionals there, there are people out there who can help.”

On a positive note, Black added, suicide among youth aged 10 to 24 dropped 25 per cent from 2000 to 2009.

Amanda joined YouTube on Sept. 6 and posted her video Sept. 7.

On Sept. 7, Amanda also uploaded a slide-show presentation called Cyber Bullying on Prezi.com, in which she gives advice on how to deal with such harassment.

In what could turn out to be her own very sad legacy, Amanda urged people to stand up to bullies and help victims:

“If you see that someone is being bullied, don’t be afraid to tell the bully to stop doing what they are doing. Make sure to tell them that it’s wrong and that they shouldn’t bully other kids.”

Amanda told parents “to always give your child emotional support” and to help them if they are being bullied.

B.C.’s education ministry announced last month that it will spend $2 million on a strategy called ERASE Bullying. The strategy includes a confidential online bullying reporting service that will allow students, school staff, parents and members of the public to make anonymous reports about potential or actual cases of school bullying and violence.

“My thoughts and prayers go to her family, I cannot even begin to imagine what they are going through. High school is supposed to be the best time of your life, not one where you fear for yourself every day. No one should have to feel the way she did,” wrote Breanna Lockhart Collins. “She was a beautiful young girl who went way too soon.”

In a post on its Facebook page, G Force Gym — home of the Vancouver All Stars cheerleaders — wrote:

“Today we feel the loss of our former VAS family member Amanda ... I ask that we all watch her video and share her story so that her loss is not in vain. Allow this to be her legacy ... Allow us all to look around & find the next Amanda before another precious spunky teenager is lost.”

Amanda’s video echoed another similar online story entitled My Story: Suicide and Bullying, which had been uploaded by Mollydoyle18 on YouTube. Commenting on Amanda’s video, Molly posted Wednesday:

“Rest in peace and fly high to Amanda Todd. I was just messaging her about almost a week ago, and I just found out that she has taken her life. She was asking me about how to be an inspiration to others and to get her video more views, and now I have found out that she has passed away ... This is a terrible tragedy. I wish she could have had her happy ending.

With files from Mike Hager

gshaw@vancouversun.com

lculbert@vancouversun.com

Click here to see more photos of Amanda Todd

Click here for ways to get help if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts
Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM
Replies (41-50):
a-SiZZLe
by Bronze Member on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Are we forgetting that this girl was into drugs and alcohol and slept/"hooked up" with another girls boyfriend ? This isnt a simple case of kids not liking a girl for no reason at all. She seems to make a lot of mistakes and she can't deal with the outcome. Maybe we should quit pointing fingers at the bullies and take a look at Amanda Todd a little closer.

Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:13 AM
That's just it. When I was in school, cell phones and the Internet didn't exist. I showed my 15 year old this story AFTER we googled her own name. She apparently has a page on a meetme.com website, claiming she is 17 and single :( she swears she didn't do it, but I'm not dumb. She did recognize the picture of herself. We recently made her delete her twitter, Facebook, etc and cut off her Internet. My husband also monitors her cell. Some may think we are going overboard, but I really don't give a fuck. She along with many other teens don't understand the ramifications of the Internet, and the constant texting. Before we limited her phone she had 4000 texts in 10 days! I absolutely do not want her doing stupid shit and having it come back to bite. Her excessive texting and some questionable posts and pics (nothing naked) are her only issues right now. I am doing what needs to be done to prevent it from goin any further.

Quoting Anonymous:

The thing is when we were in high school (or me anyway) there was no Facebook, MySpace or picture texts. So when you decided to act like a skank, millions of people didn't see it harass you daily. The part of the brain that predicts long term consequences for you actions isn't fully developed at 15. You can tell your kids daily but sometimes they rebel and do stupid things.




Quoting Anonymous:

Kids need to quit turning to suicide as an answer to all of life's problems. I'm so over hearing about this crap on the news. Her parents should of told her more in depth about what happens when you do things on the Internet. That once something is said  or done you can't take it back or pretend like it didn't happen, because it will always follow you. Second, her parents should of cut off all internet activity. Shut down her FB account and only let her on to do homework if need be. Hell I'm sure a lot of us used encyclopedias and most of us passed H.S.  

Almost everyone in life is "bullied" at some point or another. It's all how you deal with it. Maybe if society wasn't about bowing down and being submissive to our children and we made them toughen up a bit we wouldn't have such crybaby's and I could watch real news story's and not some shit about some 15 year old girl wanting to act like a skank on the Internet who got busted acting like a skank and didn't want to deal with the repercussions.


Maks1mommy
by Ruby Member on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:15 AM
This exactly. They failed her in life, they are failing her now.


Quoting -42-:

Where was all of this great support and shit when she was alive?



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Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:16 AM
1 mom liked this
I do somewhat blame her. Are you saying her actions should be completely excused? She would be a normal kid today if she hadn't sexualized herself in 7th grade and allowed pics of her breasts to be spread around the Internet. She apparently liked the attention because she never got OFF the Internet.

Quoting BekahBrownEyes:

There's another post about this...but the OP was blaming and slamming Amanda. It got very heated.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 8 on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:19 AM
Yes , I agree. But in your original reply , you seemed to blame the victim a bit. To me she is just a little girl that wanted to be accepted. Should her parents have done more to protect her? Probably. Should they have blocked her Internet usage? Probably. But I'm pretty sure they are living with the repercussions of their decisions daily in the loss of their child. To know that my child was in so much pain that she thought suicide was her only option would be so heartbreaking and unbearable. I can't even began to fathom what they are going through. And then to see your daughter continuously bullied even in death...sad.


Quoting Anonymous:

Exactly, which is why we as parents NEED to start educating our children at an early age about the things that can and will happen on the Internet. And yes, I agree that kids will rebel and do stupid things, but at the same time we need to help them cope with consequences. And going back to FB and Myspace....maybe kids shouldn't have these things to begin with, and if your kid is being harassed, take it away from them. It goes back to basic parenting. If you are not going to use something the way it was intended then you are not going to use it at all. 

Quoting Anonymous:

The thing is when we were in high school (or me anyway) there was no Facebook, MySpace or picture texts. So when you decided to act like a skank, millions of people didn't see it harass you daily. The part of the brain that predicts long term consequences for you actions isn't fully developed at 15. You can tell your kids daily but sometimes they rebel and do stupid things.





Quoting Anonymous:

Kids need to quit turning to suicide as an answer to all of life's problems. I'm so over hearing about this crap on the news. Her parents should of told her more in depth about what happens when you do things on the Internet. That once something is said  or done you can't take it back or pretend like it didn't happen, because it will always follow you. Second, her parents should of cut off all internet activity. Shut down her FB account and only let her on to do homework if need be. Hell I'm sure a lot of us used encyclopedias and most of us passed H.S.  

Almost everyone in life is "bullied" at some point or another. It's all how you deal with it. Maybe if society wasn't about bowing down and being submissive to our children and we made them toughen up a bit we wouldn't have such crybaby's and I could watch real news story's and not some shit about some 15 year old girl wanting to act like a skank on the Internet who got busted acting like a skank and didn't want to deal with the repercussions.





BekahBrownEyes
by NoLies on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Yes she liked the attention so much she moved 3 times to escape a stalker, and all the negative attention. It wasn't all the internet either, she was harrassed ruthlessly. Yes she never should have flashed her Boobs on webcam, but that doesn't give anyone the right to terrorize her.

Quoting Anonymous:

I do somewhat blame her. Are you saying her actions should be completely excused? She would be a normal kid today if she hadn't sexualized herself in 7th grade and allowed pics of her breasts to be spread around the Internet. She apparently liked the attention because she never got OFF the Internet.



Quoting BekahBrownEyes:

There's another post about this...but the OP was blaming and slamming Amanda. It got very heated.
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Pnukey
by Jenn on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:23 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting a-SiZZLe:

Are we forgetting that this girl was into drugs and alcohol and slept/"hooked up" with another girls boyfriend ? This isnt a simple case of kids not liking a girl for no reason at all. She seems to make a lot of mistakes and she can't deal with the outcome. Maybe we should quit pointing fingers at the bullies and take a look at Amanda Todd a little closer.

I agree. She made several bad decisions and didn't learn from any of them. Yes, bullying is totally wrong, and so are a lot of things she did. She failed. Her parents failed. Those who are supposed to stop bullying failed. This situation is one big fail.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 8 on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Because a 7th grader can't be coerced by a pedophile or older boy to show their breasts , right? She is the only one that's ever done this? She flashed someone on a web cam. She probably didn't even realize he could take a screen shot. She should have been punished privately by her parents. Not publicly humiliated and exploited. Not to have been told she should kill herself daily. I don't think her actions warranted the outcome.


Quoting Anonymous:

I do somewhat blame her. Are you saying her actions should be completely excused? She would be a normal kid today if she hadn't sexualized herself in 7th grade and allowed pics of her breasts to be spread around the Internet. She apparently liked the attention because she never got OFF the Internet.



Quoting BekahBrownEyes:

There's another post about this...but the OP was blaming and slamming Amanda. It got very heated.

Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:27 AM
Did you watch her video? The boy she slept with was "from her past". So she changed schools, things were getting better, and she apparently contacted a boy from her old school and "hooked up" with him. She had the opportunity to move on with her life, and apparently couldn't / didn't want to let go of her past. Her parents should have made sure she had no contact with anyone from her previous schools. She should never have been allowed to stay online. I'm surprised her therapist didn't discuss this with her and her parents.

Quoting BekahBrownEyes:

Yes she liked the attention so much she moved 3 times to escape a stalker, and all the negative attention. It wasn't all the internet either, she was harrassed ruthlessly. Yes she never should have flashed her Boobs on webcam, but that doesn't give anyone the right to terrorize her.



Quoting Anonymous:

I do somewhat blame her. Are you saying her actions should be completely excused? She would be a normal kid today if she hadn't sexualized herself in 7th grade and allowed pics of her breasts to be spread around the Internet. She apparently liked the attention because she never got OFF the Internet.





Quoting BekahBrownEyes:

There's another post about this...but the OP was blaming and slamming Amanda. It got very heated.
Miss.Mommie.
by Silver Member on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM
I can't even discuss this anymore.

I was Amanda 7 years ago. And I can guarantee you, that girl didn't sexualize herself. Some children are just broken. They are so delicate when they are young and one wrong word or action can damage them for life. She made bad decisions but that doesn't give anyone the right to terrorize her. We all know how preteens and teens are! This girl was a child and so were the ones bullying her. I feel bad for everyone involved. Amanda for letting her life spin out of control. And the bullies for the hate they hold in their hearts. :( sad all around.

Okay, I lied. I can discuss it some more.
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