We are a community of concerned citizens in British Columbia, including Amanda Todd's mother. As you may know, Amanda was contacted and blackmailed through Facebook by an adult predator who impersonated local teens to enter her circles of friends. We appeal to you as COO of Facebook, a mother, a visionary digital media leader, and member of the board of The Walt Disney Company, to lead industry-wide adoption of systemic security to block predators and abusers from accessing kids on major social media platforms, starting with Facebook itself.
I worked hard, I believed I could be anything I wanted until I was 14. I remember feeling sick when I walked into the halls of my new school. I was made fun of for trying hard, I was made fun of for being too happy. I made some friends here and there, stood around with the misfits, the awkward misunderstoods. But looking back I knew we all were.
Martial arts is certainly not the solution to all forms of bullies but it can certainly make the difference in the lives of many kids by building their personalities. It would be worthwhile even if it saves one soul in the long run. Children can learn a lot more than just how to do a good roundhouse kick at their local karate class.
This year we see one issue weighing on young people more than any other: bullying. After the event, we shared a moment with the mother of the B.C. teen who had taken her life to offer our condolences. The grieving mother told us she hoped her daughter's tragedy would prove a tipping point. We believe it has.
I will never forget how excited I was to be invited to watch a movie with the popular boy I liked. I primped for hours. (I was, after all, a teenager grappling with my own new sexuality.) When I got there, he did not put on the movie we agreed to watch, but a porn film. I had never seen one before. He unzipped his pants, pushed and pulled at me. I cried the whole walk home. We don't talk honestly enough about what it's like being a teen girl, or what it can be like. If we did talk about it, what it was like for us, perhaps we wouldn't be so harsh on them. Perhaps we'd see their lives for the small and large violations they're often made up of; and what those violations do.
With the recent, tragic, and unnecessary death of bullying victim Amanda Todd, I believe that it is time to talk about suicide openly. Having the nation begin to talk about bullying and suicide prevention should have happened a long time ago. I am sad that it has taken an end to a life to begin talking about suicide so openly but it is something we must talk about to prevent it.
It's now been two weeks since the tragic, allegedly bullying-induced suicide of B.C. teenager Amanda Todd first made headlines around the world, but if the steady output of Canadian editorial pages is any indication, there's still much to say. It's hard to deny the sheer poetic justice in the volume of sympathy and thoughtfulness born from the aftermath of an episode of such overbearing nihilism and cruelty. Not that some haven't gone too far, of course.