by Sarah Fader
The other day, friend of mine posted on Facebook about how said she was saddened about the death of Amanda, the girl who committed suicide due to bullying. I hadn’t heard about the story, so I did a little research and found out that the girl in question was Amanda Todd.
She was 15 years old, lived in Canada, and had been severely mocked and bullied. On October 10th 2012, she took her own life.
I watched Amanda’s video. In her YouTube Video, Amanda doesn’t speak at all. She is seen from the nose down, and instead of talking, she holds up white pieces of paper with black marker written on them that tell her story.
She reveals that she met a man in a chat room when she was in the 7th grade, and he threatened her. If she didn’t “put on a show” for him, he would send a picture of her breasts to everyone that she knew. She was humiliated, tortured, and bullied by her peers.
One card Amanda holds up reveals this statement: “They said I hope she sees this and kills herself”.
Amanda resorted to self-mutilation, and was ostracized by her peers and her community. Ultimately, the pain was so deep that she took her own life.
This story highlights the fact that bullying in the 21st century has reached a whole new level. It involves the complex vortex of the internet.
When I was in junior high school, I was severely bullied. I woke up every day terrified to go to school. My heart palpitated uncontrollably at the thought that I would have to see those two girls (who I was once friends with) that now made every day in 8th grade a living hell. I’m still traumatized when I think about what I went through.
But I survived; Amanda Todd did not.
What we must be aware of is that with the advent of the internet, bullying has reached an entirely new level. We need to start closely monitoring what our children are up to online. We need to have open communication with our kids about what is safe and what is dangerous in the virtual universe. Our children are in danger if we don’t talk about these matters.
The story of Amanda Todd is a model of what we don’t want to happen to our own children.
Rest in peace, Amanda, your story should be shared as a message that bullying, if not stopped, can have dire consequences.
Sarah Fader blogs about her life on Old School New School Mom. She also runs blog workshops for elementary school children in New York City and provides freelance transcription services for major television networks. She has two beautiful children, Ari and Samara.