[Update 12/10/2012: Read Amanda’s story as told by her mother portraying the dark reality of cyberbullying and pedophile predators: Amanda’s Story: In Her Mother’s Words.]
This morning during my regular Facebook morning scan I came across the video posted above. It was shared by a friend. The video shows a girl holding up cue cards telling a horrifying story of bullying and harassment at the hands of peers at several different schools. Even though I have seen several of these videos before this one left me stunned. Then I found out that some time yesterday the girl in the video, Amanda Todd, ended her own life. She was 15 years old.
I have myself been scarred by bullying, and this story has ripped up more scars than I knew I had.
Bullying is a serious problem and it is one we need to address right now. This simply cannot stand. I have no simple solutions, but we owe it to Amanda and all the others like her to do something, and do it now.
To the bullies:
You are better than this. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Show some compassion. Be the better person.
To the bullied:
You are not defined by what other people say about you. And though it seems like an empty phrase, things do get better.
To us all:
If you see someone being bullied, do something about it.
You are not alone
If you feel bullied, shunned, discarded, mocked, ridiculed, or alone, know that you are not alone. There are millions of us who have shared your pain, and we are all here to talk to you and help you through it. You deserve a great life. Don’t let anyone convince you to take it away.
I am here if you need me.
[The original Vancouver Sun story by Gillian Shaw: RIP Amanda: Social media networks tell story of Vancouver area teen who committed suicide over cyberbullying]