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.
The anxiety and depression that resulted from cyber-bullying were too much for Amanda Todd, resulting in her suicide. And yet a large faction of the public, is reticent to the notion of legislating on this issue. In an interview Christy Clark made it clear that her preferred avenue to combat bullying is through education and not legislation. I am unable to comprehend why education and legislation have to be mutually exclusive, but perhaps when the next teen commits suicide, I can have Christy explain it to me. We have attempted to educate children on the detrimental effects of bullying, and yet, they do not seem to be learning. Perhaps it is time we change the lesson plan.