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.
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.
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. .
She was a typical girl of her age. She took pictures with her friends out on various adventures. She had a Facebook Account, A Twitter account, and membership with some web-cam chat sites. It turns out she had joined the cam sites to try and meet new folks, something we've all done in one way or another. In many ways, she wasn't much different from me when I was 15.
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.