SURREY, B.C. - They lit candles, shared their thoughts and collectively took a quiet stand against the kind of torment which caused a British Columbia teen to end her own life.

Hundreds of people in a number of cities around the world paused to remember bullying victim Amanda Todd on Friday, just over a week after the 15-year-old Port Coquitlam girl committed suicide following years of Internet sexual exploitation and bullying by her peers.

A Facebook page had been set up listing memorials for Todd from communities in the Vancouver area to cities in Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Vigils were to be held in at least five American states, as well as Copenhagen and various cities in India.

"I am overwhelmed," said Lucky Gill, a Vancouver-area resident who co-ordinated one of the vigils. Gill launched an organization called Global Girl Power with her niece the same day news broke of Todd's death.

"My vision was to get the word out. Even if one family lights up one candle in the house, kids in that house will see that 'Oh, our parents care,' so they will feel more comfortable with them. Maybe conversations at the dinner table will start."

One of the larger gatherings was planned for Holland Park in Surrey, B.C., where a crowd of all ages, many dressed in pink, gathered with candles in front of a white tent and stage Friday night.

Supt. Bill Fordy, the officer in charge of the Surrey RCMP, read a statement from Todd's father which thanked people for sharing their thoughts, prayers and love.

"We would like to see changes made around the world to put an end to bullying once and for all," the statement said. "We want Amanda's story to be heard loud and clear and most importantly to keep her voice alive forever."

"It means a lot to see the world lighting up this evening in Amanda's honour. Stay strong."

In Victoria, about 100 people gathered at the city's Beacon Hill Park, many placing lit candles under a large tree where a make-shift memorial that included pictures of Todd had been set up.

Victoria vigil organizer Vanessa Downie said this was the first event she'd ever organized, but felt she had to honour Todd in some way while standing up against bullying.

"When I heard what happened to Amanda, it just broke my heart," said Downie, who plans to pursue a degree in social work.

"Then I got very angry that something so terrible could happen to someone so innocent and so young," she said. "It just makes me think we keep passing the responsibility on to teachers and organizations and it's not going to be solved by passing the torch. We have to take responsibility for it."

Mental health worker Baylie McKnight said she was verbally and physically bullied during her high school years in Victoria. Now, 24, she says she wants to help stop bullying.

"I didn't feel heard," she said. "One of the worst parts is going to teachers and them not understanding."

Earlier in the day, the Toronto District School Board had asked its 250,000 students and 40,000 staff members to pause for one minute of silence Friday morning.

That observance came at the same time as news was breaking of charges against eight girls in a bullying case at a high school in London, Ont. The students were suspended Friday.

An investigation found a student at the school had been the target of physical, emotional and online bullying, police said.

The girls are each charged with criminal harassment and have been released from custody on a promise to appear in court. Police said information about the alleged bullying came from direct statements and through an anonymous reporting portal on the school website.

Todd killed herself on Oct. 10. A month before her death, she posted a video to YouTube in which she flips through dozens of cards, writing her story in short, black sentences.

She said she was in Grade 7 when she was lured by an unidentified male to expose her breasts during a chat. A year later she said she received a message from a man on Facebook threatening that if she didn't give him a show, he would send the webcam picture to her friends and family.

"He knew my address, school, relatives, friends, family names,'' she wrote.

Over Christmas break there was a knock on her door at 4 a.m.

"It was the police... my photo was sent to everyone,'' she wrote. "I then got really sick and then got anxiety, major depression and panic disorder.''

In the video that has now been viewed more than 8.5 million times, she outlines more recent bullying over her relationship with a boy that escalated to an assault that left her lying bloodied in a ditch.

She said she tried to kill herself twice.

Her last words on the video were: "I have nobody. I need someone.''

Police have launched an investigation into all aspects of her case, but were forced earlier this week to deny on-line rumours and accusations that named a Vancouver-area man as Todd's tormentor. Police said the rumours and resulting Internet vigilante threats were delaying their investigation.

On Monday, a New Democrat member of Parliament, introduced a motion calling for the creation of a House of Commons committee to develop a national bullying prevention strategy that would examine the prevalence and impact of bullying and look for ways to prevent it.

Several provinces have also taken steps to tackle the issue.

Ontario passed anti-bullying legislation in June, a few months after a 13-year-old boy was acquitted of robbing and assaulting 11-year-old Mitchell Wilson in a bullying case that garnered widespread attention.

Wilson, who suffered from muscular dystrophy, killed himself last September.

The legislation was introduced in the wake of another high-profile case, the death last year of 15-year-old Jamie Hubley, a boy who was targeted as an openly gay student at his Ottawa school.

Recent federal studies indicate that one in five children or youth have reported being victimized by bullies.

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  • Cequan Haskins

    Chilling video of 10-year-old Cequan Haskins being viciously bullied on a school bus in May 2011 was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/23/cequan-haskins-10-year-old-bus-bullying-video_n_1695719.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying">released publicly by the boy's mother at a press conference</a> in Appomattox County, Va. Video of physical and verbal abuse goes on for 40 minutes and includes racial and sexual slurs, as well as Cequan screaming as two 15-year-old boys allegedly hold a hot cigarette lighter to his skin.

  • Nadia Ilse

    To ward off school bullies who began taunting her in the first grade for her ears, Nadia Ilse begged her mother at the age of 10 for an otoplasty -- an operation to pin her ears back. At the age of 14, Nadia was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/28/nadia-isle-bullied-georgi_n_1712548.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying">granted her wish by the Little Baby Face Foundation</a>, a charity that provides free corrective surgery to children born with facial deformities.

  • Isabella Lounder

    Isabella Lounder, a 7-year-old student with special needs, was afraid to return for her first day of school in the fall of 2012. Mother Nicole Lounder says Isabella, who has dwarfism, was ignored by school officials, wetting her pants numerous times after failed attempts to use toilets that were out of her reach. Students would also pick her up, hurting her arms, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/17/isabella-lounder-student-_n_1798770.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying">and she was once locked out of the school.</a>

  • Indiana Teen

    A student from Franklin Township Middle School East in Indiana was arrested after a cell phone video of a vicious school bus fight was posted to Facebook in August 2012. The fight broke out <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/franklin-township-middle-_n_1843062.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying">when one student had taken a seat on the bus that another wanted.</a>

  • Washington Teen

    A Washington state student was terrorized in a bullying attack by peers -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/john-rosi-washington-midd_n_1841998.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying">and at some points, by the teacher</a>. The incidents occurred in February at a Gig Harbor middle school. Cell phone footage shows more than a dozen students dragging the then-eighth-grade boy around the classroom, carrying him by his arms and legs, burying him under chairs, writing on his feet and stuffing his socks in his mouth. The antics last about 15 minutes while teacher John Rosi watches, and later joins in.

  • Katie Uffens

    Katie Uffens left Westview High School earlier in 2012 and enrolled in a home-school charter program after she was told about the existence of a group called the “KKK” —<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/bullying-continued-for-sa_n_1919888.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying"> short for the “Kill Katie Klub.”</a> But the 16-year-old San Diego cheerleader who was repeatedly bullied by her peers says the taunting continued even after she dropped out.

  • Dalton Fleenor

    Oklahoma high school junior Dalton Fleenor reportedly told another student -- while away from campus -- “What he did was a p---- thing to do,” referring to a fellow classmate. The next day at school, the classmate in question punched Fleenor twice in the back of the head. Both students faced suspension, as Newcastle High School <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/06/oklahoma-high-school-stud_n_1862748.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying">treated the incident as a case of bullying</a>.

  • Whitney Kropp

    Whitney Kropp, a Michigan 16-year-old sophomore, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/30/community-lauds-victim-of_0_n_1927380.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying">was the victim of an apparent prank by classmates.</a> Kropp was named to the homecoming court of the 800-student school in the fall of 2012, but said she felt betrayed after some students suggested her selection was a joke. She said she had been picked on in the past, but it intensified afterward.

  • Preston Deener

    Preston Deener, a sophomore at Brunswick High School in Maryland, was the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/10/preston-deener-brunswick-_n_1954821.html?utm_hp_ref=education">victim of a bullying attack</a> in October 2012 just as he was preparing for an on-camera interview with a local television station about his experience being bullied.

  • Karen Klein

    Karen Huff Klein, a bus monitor for the Greece School District in Greece, N.Y., received an outpouring of support after a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/greece-school-district-bullied-footage-causes-outrage_n_1612925.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">ten-minute video of her enduring vicious bullying</a> while watching over students on a bus ride home was uploaded to YouTube.

  • Stormy RIch

    Stormy Rich, an 18-year-old Florida student, says she was punished in May 2012 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/28/stormy-rich-florida-high-_n_1551350.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">after reporting bullying of a special needs student</a> on a school bus, and standing up to those bullies when the school didn't take action.

  • Rachel Ehmke

    Rachel Ehmke, a 13-year-old seventh grader in Mantorville, Minn., died April 29, 2012 after hanging herself at her home. The months leading up to the tragedy <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/rachel-ehmke-13-year-old-_n_1501143.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">were a whirlwind of peer abuse instances</a>, her parents say.

  • Akian Chaifetz

    In April 2012, Stuart Chaifetz sent his 10-year-old son Akian to New Jersey's Horace Mann Elementary School wearing a hidden audio recorder, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/23/stuart-chaifetz-father-wire-son-records-teacher-abuse_n_1447330.html" target="_hplink">uncovering verbal and emotional abuse from his son's classroom aide and teacher</a>.

  • Joel Morales

    Joel Morales, a 12-year-old student in East Harlem, New York City, hanged himself in May 2012 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/31/joel-morales-hangs-self-bullying-dead-father_n_1559450.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">after bullies at school taunted him</a> for his size, intelligence and the death of his father.

  • Darnell "Dynasty" Young

    Darnell "Dynasty" Young, a 17-year-old gay student at Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis, Ind., <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/02/darnell-dynasty-young-gay-student-stun-gun_n_1471921.html" target="_hplink">faced expulsion in May 2012</a> after he fired a stun gun at bullies he claims were about to beat him up.

  • Oklahoma Student

    A 14-year-old student from Longfellow Middle School in Enid, Okla., <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/oklahoma-middle-schooler-seriously-injured-in-school-bullying-incident_n_1456356.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">was left seriously injured</a> and had to undergo surgery after an incident of bullying went too far.

  • Corey Pingeton

    Cory Pingeton, an 18-year-old student at Franklin High School in Franklin, Mass., <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/cory-pingeton-high-school-student-sucker-punched-at-school_n_1465390.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">required medical attention</a> in April 2012 after an unnamed suspect viciously attacked him in the school's hallway. After fleeing the campus following the attack, the suspected assailant now faced criminal charges.

  • Julio Artuz

    15-year-old Julio Artuz in November 2011 spoke out about his special needs teacher bullying him, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/julio-artuz-15-records-teacher-verbally-abusing_n_1097166.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">filming an encounter with the teacher at Bankbridge Regional School in New Jersey.</a>

  • Ohio Boy

    A 10-year-old Ohio boy in April 2012 brought a BB gun to school <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/19/ohio-school-bb-gun-bullies_n_1438333.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">to fend off bullies.</a>

  • Sawyer Rosenstein

    New Jersey student Sawyer Rosenstein received <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/18/nj-bullys-paralyzing-punc_n_1435176.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">a $4.2 million settlement</a> from the Ramsey school district years after a bully's punch paralyzed him for life.

  • Female Students

    In March 2012, two female students from Mooresville High School in North Carolina were suspended after another student used her cellphone to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/mooresville-high-school-bus-bullying-video_n_1373894.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">film the girls viciously bullying a male student on a school bus.</a>

  • Lennon Baldwin

    15-year-old Lennon Baldwin, a freshman at Morristown High School in New Jersey, committed suicide in April 2012, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/02/lennon-baldwin-15-year-old-commits-suicide-after-being-bullied_n_1398147.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">and police are investigating whether bullying was to blame.</a>

  • David Pecoraro

    David Pecoraro, a math teacher at Beach Channel High School in New York, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/19/david-pecoraro-serial-spi_n_1287929.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">was reassigned to an administrative office </a>after video of him swatting at and spitting on a student surfaced online in February 2012.

  • Kaleb Kula

    Kaleb Kula, a sixth grader with autism, was brutally beaten to the ground at his Maryland school bus stop in January 2012 while his peers stood by to watch -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/22/kaleb-kula-autistic-6th-g_n_1222068.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">and catch the act on camera.</a>

  • Warren Lewis

    Warren Lewis, a Houston teenager accused of shooting a classmate in the leg at school, said in January 2012 that he was defending himself from a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/teen-in-texas-school-shoo_0_n_1200385.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">group of boys who had been bullying him.</a>

  • Phoebe Prince

    A lawsuit brought by the parents of Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old Irish immigrant in Massachusetts who committed suicide after relentless bullying,<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/28/phoebe-prince-bullying-la_n_1172755.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink"> was settled for $225,000 in December 2011.</a> <strong>Correction:</strong> A previous version of this slide incorrectly stated the date of settlement.

  • Restraining Order

    Kentucky mother Joy Furman claims her 9-year-old daughter has been bullied for two years at school, and seeks a restraining order against a fourth-grade boy she accused of tormenting her daughter, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/24/girls-mom-seeks-restraini_n_1450299.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">kicking her in the chest and chasing her with scissors.</a>

  • Ashlynn Connor

    In November 2011, 10-year-old Ashlynn Connor hanged herself in her closet by a scarf, just a few weeks after she told her mother she was being bullied at Ridge Farm Elementary School in Illinois <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/14/ashlynn-conner-ten-year-o_n_1092683.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">and her mother denied the girl's request to be home schooled.</a>

  • Kelly Chafins, Christy Wilt

    Kelly Chafins and Christy Wilt of Miami Trace Middle School in Ohio were caught on tape in the fall of 2011 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/08/kelly-chaffins-christy-wi_n_1081980.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">verbally abusing a 14-year-old special needs student.</a> Chaffins resigned and Wilt was scheduled to undergo a probation period as well as eight hours of mandatory training in "how to recognize child abuse and stop bullying."

  • Patty Fabian

    In October 2011, 15-year-old Patty Fabian was left with black eyes and a broken nose after <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/patty-fabian-15-year-old-bullied_n_1079761.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">a peer at Garland High School in Texas viciously assaulted her.</a> Video of the assault was posted on YouTube while Fabian was rushed to the hospital.

  • Rebecca Arellano, Haileigh Adams

    In the fall of 2011, Rebecca Arellano was crowned Patrick Henry High School's first lesbian homecoming king. The next day, her girlfriend Haileigh Adams was crowned queen. Despite widespread support from the school and the couple's friends and family, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/01/rebecca-arellano-haileigh_n_1070436.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">the couple subsequently received waves of hateful phone calls and emails.</a>

  • Nicolette Taylor

    In the fall of 2011, 13-year-old Nicolette Taylor from Long Island <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/12/nicolette-taylor-13-year-_n_1007371.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">decided to get plastic surgery</a> after enduring online harassment and name-calling multiple times a week because of the shape of her nose.

  • Jamey Rodemeyer

    Taunted since grade school for hanging out with girls, 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer told his parents things were finally getting better since high school started. Meanwhile, on a blog his parents didn't know about, he posted increasingly desperate notes ruminating on suicide, bullying, homophobia and pop singer Lady Gaga. A few days later, he hanged himself outside his home in suburban Buffalo, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/29/jamey-rodemeyers-suicide-_n_987054.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">quickly gaining a fame like that described in one of his idol's songs. </a>

  • Justin Aaberg

    15-year-old Justin Aaberg committed suicide in July 2010 after what his mother Tammy Aaberg says was relentless anti-gay bullying at his Minnesota school. Tammy Aaberg has since gathered signatures for a petition and marched to the office of her congresswoman, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/16/tammy-aaberg-mother-of-te_n_966455.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, to call on Bachmann to publicly address gay bullying.</a>

  • Zachary

    When video of 15-year-old Zachary being beaten over and over again by a classmate went viral in October 2011, the school told the gay teen that he need to "tone [himself] down." The school's handling of the attack outraged Zach's mother Becky Collins, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/teen-speaks-out-after-vic_n_1095874.html?ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">who couldn't understand why officials would say her son needed to change, instead of the bullies. </a>


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  • People gather at a memorial honoring teen Amanda Todd in Maple Ridge, B.C., Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Todd who was a victim of bullying took her own life last Wednesday.

  • People gather at a memorial honoring teen Amanda Todd in Maple Ridge, B.C., Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Todd who was a victim of bullying took her own life last Wednesday.

  • People gather at a memorial honoring teen Amanda Todd in Maple Ridge, B.C., Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Todd who was a victim of bullying took her own life last Wednesday.

  • People gather at a memorial honoring teen Amanda Todd in Maple Ridge, B.C., Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Todd who was a victim of bullying took her own life last Wednesday.

  • People gather at a memorial honoring teen Amanda Todd in Maple Ridge, B.C., Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Todd who was a victim of bullying took her own life last Wednesday.

  • People gather at a memorial honoring teen Amanda Todd in Maple Ridge, B.C., Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Todd who was a victim of bullying took her own life last Wednesday.

  • People gather at a memorial honoring teen Amanda Todd in Maple Ridge, B.C., Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Todd who was a victim of bullying took her own life last Wednesday.


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  • A Facebook post from <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151108737498527&set=pb.245559443526.-2207520000.1349995284&type=1&theater">G Force Gym - Home of the Vancouver All Stars</a>: "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. We have a responsibility today... Is there a kid in your school that made a mistake and is being shunned? Your challenge is to be a LEADER ... Be the Game Changers you are and sit with them today... reach out... smile... let them know that they are NOT alone in this harsh world. It's always EASY to do the EASY thing; we teach you to NOT do what is easy and instead, do what is right!! You will be surprised, how many people will follow YOU when you stick up for what is Right and honorable AND, forgiving those that have made mistakes in their YOUTH is the RIGHT thing to do!! Please share Amands's Story... SHARE IT & LIVE IT!"