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.
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.
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.
I think it is safe to say that the anti-bullying campaigns and the pink shirt days are not working. Once again we have a tormented teen who could only see one way out of her struggle and that was taking her own life. It is time to rethink how we are handling this whole "bullying" thing. As a parent of two school-age children, I have a feeling that the definition of "bully" has been lost in translation.
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.