Amanda Todd, 15, Bullied to Death
This is the one. If ever there was one event that got a little too deep under my skin, this is it. If ever there was one teen suicide that illustrated as clearly as the day is long that it is beyond time for us to stop talking about this and start getting our hands dirty trying to fix it, this is it!!!
I had originally saved this article to my computer earlier in the day, just before leaving out for work, but I didn’t read it. That wasn’t until later in the day, after I was done “working”. (trust me: playing music isn’t “work”) Not knowing that they were related, I read another article about a teen suicide from the day before. I went to read it and was confronted with this video. After watching the video, my emotions were boiling over. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. What I’d just watched on youtube had me much too angry to be able to cry. So, take the time out to watch this video….
Ok, if you didn’t watch it, you really need to in order to fully understand everything that will follow. This video, and what happened to 15-year-old Amanda Todd, clearly and definitely points out the two top reasons why we’re not making a dent in the incidents of bullying and/or the deadly aftermath it leaves:
- Far too many parents either have no clue what their school-aged children are doing, or the flat-out don’t care.
- Young people today, whether we want to accept it or not, have taken bullying to a whole different level. Worse, they show a callousness and lack of compassion unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
Kid yourself, if you’d like, and say that there’s always been bullying and this is nothing new. My response to you will be a bucket of cold water poured over your head in an effort to wake you up!! This is a whole new level of bullying!!! This adolescent terrorist is guilty of real and punishable crimes! He stalked Amanda Todd until she couldn’t take it anymore. He stalked her and terrorized her until it was obvious, at least to her already-fragile mind, that her only escape was death. For him to get to the point where he knew her entire life’s story and history of family and friends clear indicates that his intent was malicious and criminal, and it MUST be handled as such! This incredibly sad story is wrought with issues that should help clarify why bullying is still escalating, in frequency and intensity, and the teen suicide rate is still so high, despite the efforts of a virtual army to reduce it.
- At the top of the list is where is there evidence of ANY adult supervision!? Why is as 12-year-old girl sending nude pictures over the Internet without any detection or consequences? How is it that this boy is able to literally stalk Amanda Todd to the point where he has every piece of her vital information without any detection or consequences!?
- There is a very obvious lack of guidance on the part of the kid who terrorized Amanda. Set aside his criminal activity that led to her death for a second. It’s October 12, 2012. Besides this blog, and the facebook blog page, there are literally hundreds upon tens of thousands of people and organizations mobilized to bring awareness to the issue of bullying and teen suicide. Celebrities are speaking out…loudly! Political and (some) religious leaders of speaking out. If this kid is computer savvy enough to spy on someone’s entire life as effectively as he did, there is NO WAY he doesn’t know that his activities could lead to this girl’s death! Yet, he did it anyway. And, that he did all of this in spite of knowing what the consequences could be clearly indicates an absence of compassion or even a sense of right and wrong. Those things are, or at least SHOULD be taught at home.
- Further, that other kids were posting “I hope she dies” and other such mean-spirited comments online shows the same lack of compassion or sense of right and wrong.
- And, worst of all, that young Amanda couldn’t find any relief from the terror she was enduring speaks to the state of our society, worldwide. Unfortunately, with this being a world of high-speed, immediate connection with the world, cyberbullying can be, and in many cases is a 24-hour menace.
Amanda created that YouTube video in a last-ditch effort to reach out for help. It’s what these young people are instructed and encouraged to do. I post it regularly on the facebook blog page. Yet, no one heard her. Oh, sure, now that she’s gone, the comments are flooding the youtube comment board, and the video is, right now, going viral. Unfortunately, Amanda Todd screamed out for help a month ago. Her screams fell upon deaf ears.
Amanda Todd’s suicide was so incredibly preventable. Too many things went wrong in this case to even know where to begin. What is certain, at least in one man’s mind, is that the perpetrator of this heinous cyberbullying must be held accountable. Forget the cries of “he’s just a kid, himself”!! He knew, 100%, what he was doing! He did it meticulously and methodically. He stalked her. For years!!! He terrorized her. For years!!! He is no less responsible for her death than he would be had he hunted her down and shot her, himself.
If we’re ever going to bring this madness to an end, it’s time to stop sugar-coating everything. It’s time to stop sidestepping the real, core issues. It’s time for us, as adults, to step up our own game and make changes that will prevent things like this from ever happening again. Whatever it takes!!
To you, Amanda, we say a very painful and tearful goodbye. You shouldn’t have had to go through this. Certainly, you shouldn’t have had to go through it alone. You’re at peace, now.
Written by Ron Kemp
October 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm
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