Amanda Todd’s mother is using her daughter’s tragic story to warn parents to update old "stranger danger" lessons and focus on social media interactions.
"There’s a piece missing where we forget to educate our kids about strangers on the Internet," Carol Todd told HuffPost Live on Wednesday in a segment about parents keeping up with their kids' media use.
Todd’s daughter, Amanda, uploaded a heart-wrenching video about being bullied online in September 2012. A month later, she killed herself. Todd's story has been shared and debated around the world.
After being severely bullied and changing schools, Amanda felt alienated and began to seek friends elsewhere.
"She suffered from anxiety. She wanted friends; she found them online," Todd said.
One of Amanda’s supposed online friends eventually blackmailed her with nude photos, a cautionary tale Todd used to remind parents to teach kids that social posts and file shares cannot be taken back.
"Once it’s out there, it leaves a digital footprint and you can never get it off," said Todd.
She also stressed that kids and teens should never feel like they're alone whenever they're in trouble; ideally they should always have a trusted adult to talk to.
"They shouldn’t ever feel if they’ve done something wrong, it should be hidden, because that’s when the problems start to happen,” she said.
The mother and daughter had a transparent relationship when it came to Amanda's avid use of Facebook: Carol had access to her login and passwords.
Two funds have been set up in Amanda Todd's name to support her legacy as well as the anti-bullying issues.
Also on HuffPost:
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!"