Calling Amanda Todd's case "bullying" or even "cyberbullying" doesn't do it justice. "Bullying" erases specific social factors and makes it seem like something that you age out of. Adding the "cyber" prefix doesn't necessarily make it more accurate.
The anxiety and depression that resulted from cyber-bullying were too much for Amanda Todd, resulting in her suicide. And yet a large faction of the public, is reticent to the notion of legislating on this issue. In an interview Christy Clark made it clear that her preferred avenue to combat bullying is through education and not legislation.
I am unable to comprehend why education and legislation have to be mutually exclusive, but perhaps when the next teen commits suicide, I can have Christy explain it to me. We have attempted to educate children on the detrimental effects of bullying, and yet, they do not seem to be learning. Perhaps it is time we change the lesson plan.
I went to bed last night unable to shake Amanda Todd from my mind. Her story brought back painful memories of my own experience with bullying, years of misery that nag at me even today. I didn't have any elementary school friends, so I got manipulated easily. Kids would pretend to be my friends, gain my trust, then relay embarrassing facts about my personal life to the rest of the school. My mistake was responding.
In reading about the tragic case of Amanda Todd, I was unable to find a single news source prepared to follow the evidence to its logical conclusion -- that she was the victim of male sexual violence. Here on display was the familiar and rank hypocrisy by which women are routinely sexualized and then attacked for their supposedly wanton ways.
With the recent case of 15-year old Amanda Todd who killed herself Wednesday as a result of a cyberbullying campaign against her, it's clear we need to do a better job of supporting youth who are victimized by bullying. We can empower youth to be part of the solution by teaching them what they can do.
Filed by Zi-Ann Lum
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