Amanda Todd, Canadian Teen Bullied Online and Elsewhere Commits Suicide
One of the sadder (and for me, enraging) stories you’ll ever read.
Amanda Todd was a teenager in the Vancouver, BC area who was bullied and then harassed online. A too common problem these days, to say the least. I have friends whose teen children have been stalked and harassed on Facebook and Twitter, and Myspace during it’s heyday.
If you have children, especially teenagers, or have friends that do, I recommend having them watch this video:
Here is the story:
Amanda Todd, a Vancouver-area teenager who posted a story to YouTube last month about being cyber-bullied, was found dead Wednesday night in Coquitlam, Canada. Authorities believe she committed suicide.
Amanda’s video tells a heart-wrenching story of the bullying she was subjected to — both online and off. “In 7th grade,” she begins, sharing her message on cue cards, “I would go with friends on webcam [to] meet and talk to new people.” At one point, a stranger flattered her into flashing the camera.
One year later, a man contacted her on Facebook, threatening to send around the picture of her topless “if [she] don’t put on a show.” Terrifyingly, the stranger knew everything about her: her address, school, friends, relatives, and the names of her family members. Soon, her naked photo had been forwarded “to everyone.”
On a related note, Dan Savage wrote this (pdf) article in 1999 in the wake of the Columbine shootings. I urge you, and teens especially to read it.