Bullied Teen Commits Suicide After Haunting YouTube Video
Bullying has taken another young victim. Amanda Todd, a Vancouver-area teen posted a video on YouTube in September about the torment she was experiencing due to bullying. On October 10, a month after her disturbing video was released, she was found dead and authorities believe that it was a suicide.
The video that was released on September 7 is in black and white and showcases a series of white paper with sentences in black marker that describe the ordeal that Amanda endured. It tells the story of a young girl’s struggle with bullying online and in real life. At 12 years old, she used a webcam to talk to other people, and when a stranger asked her to flash the camera with her chest, she did. Unfortunately, that moment of indiscretion continued to haunt her, even when she moved schools. The man continued to pester her for more – he wanted a “show” and when Amanda would not succumb, he started releasing her chest photo to those around her.
Amanda describes the bullying from her classmates – being called names, eating lunch alone, and even a fight where she was left in a ditch. "She threw me to the ground and punched me several times. Kids filmed it. I was all alone and left on the ground."
After that incident, she drank bleach in an attempt to kill herself, but was rushed to the hospital to have her stomach pumped. She returned to Facebook to more bullying from peers: "After I got home, all I saw was on Facebook--'She deserved it. Did you wash the mud out of your hair? I hope she's dead,'" Students posted pictures of ditches and suggested that she try another bleach. Despite this negativity, Amanda’s video wasn’t about gaining attention, as much as for inspiration. It seemed she was trying to get better.
Less than a month away from her 16th birthday, Amanda was found dead in an apparent suicide. Officials haven’t yet ruled it as a suicide yet, but have said that no foul play was involved.
This story is just so devastating on so many levels. As a mom, I grieve for the loss Amanda’s mother is dealing with, and I’m furious at the level of bullying kids will put other kids through. But I’m also well aware that this is a sad example of why we need to be so careful with the internet and our kids, because there are some scary predators lurking to snatch more than just their innocence.
Do you have cyber safety rules with your kids or do you just trust they are being safe?