Bullying drove Airdrie teen Mackenzie Murphy to an attempted suicide, an act of desperation that's prompting a second Alberta jurisdiction to propose an anti-bullying bylaw.
The 13-year-old spent last Christmas in hospital recovering from an attempted suicide in early December, brought on by abuse that started online and that evolved into face-to-face insults and mockery, The Calgary Sun reports.
As a result, Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown and RCMP school resource officer Cst. David Henry have been pushing for a bylaw they hope will curb the damaging behaviour with the potentially fatal consequences, the Airdrie Echo reports.
Around the same time Murphy was contemplating taking her own life, the Town of Hannah in eastern Alberta was passing the first anti-bullying bylaw in the province.
Name-slinging in the town now merits a $250 fine, while repeat offences will net the culprit $1,000, or even jail time, if the tormenting escalates.
That aggressive judicial move by Hannah town council came mere weeks after the world was left reeling upon learning the story of B.C. teen Amanda Todd, who took her own life, as she herself tried to put an end to years of torment.
Todd posted a video on YouTube last September in which she spelled out in detail the harassment that had taken over her life after fleeing her hometown to get away from the torment, only to have that torment find her anew. A month after she posted the video, Todd was dead.
Murphy told the Echo she and her mother also moved to the city, located just north of Calgary, to get away from the bullies in her previous hometown, only to have her escape plan lead to new torment.
She spent three weeks in hospital after trying to escape the cutting comments on Facebook and anonymous messages left on her blog encouraging her to kill herself, according to the Echo.
Airdrie's proposed bylaw is in its final stages of debate, according to the Sun.
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!"