10.12.2012 02:21 PM

Amanda Todd

Her sad story has now attracted international attention: this is the top news item on CNN’s web site.  Not the U.S. election.

I hope that means that a lot of people are paying attention to this issue, and learning from it.  Hope it gives her family some comfort, too.

(As I write this, my eldest son is sitting in my office, and he has just finished telling me about one of his closest friends at St. Mike’s, who was beaten up earlier this week by three bullies, as he left a soccer game.  So, yes, this is all much more than a media creation.)


  1. As unsophisticated as I am, this stuff makes me really blood thirsty and retributive. My daughter was bullied once. The student behind her was stabbing/poking her with his pencil repeatedly. I saw the parent and poked my finger in his chest more than once, and told him what what happen if this continued. Funny thing…it stopped!

    Bullies are cowards and I love seeing them fall.

    I am taking off my Bat Suit now and having Pepsi………….

  2. Chris P says:

    I got sick to my stomach when I read about it – Not ashamed to say that in my early 30s it brought me to tears (and not much in my life ever has).

    In what way can her memory be honoured so that we never forget this? Suggestions?
    How about the ‘Amanda Todd anti-Cyberbulling Act’ Warren as a lawyer do you know if the criminal code specifically deal with this?

  3. WDM says:

    These stories are always so heart-wrenching to read. Sadly, the mentality of kids too often is everyone for themselves. Even when they know bullying or treating someone poorly is wrong, the thought is that being the bully, rather than being bullied is the only way to keep one’s head above water in the cesspool of high school. It takes kids with the courage and guts to say enough and stand by those being bullied instead of standing by those doing the bullying. Admittedly, I did not do enough of that myself in high school.

    To those who say bullying has always existed, it hasn’t always existed like this. Online there’s no escape. Emails, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, you can be attacked anywhere, anytime. High school
    is an exceptionally difficult time for everyone, we need to start making it easier.

    • Cath says:

      Bully has been around for ever. The difference now is how we choose to deal with it, ignore it, blame someone else or pass the buck on the problem.
      Years ago there was definite consequences for bullying or hurting someone else.
      Now……the bully gets coddled and the victim and the victim’s parents are left fighting on their own.

      The London Anti-Bullying Coalition was formed by parents (some of whose children died as a result of bullying). Who fights this group most? Governments and bureaucrats who just don’t think we have a problem. The woman who heads this group has a son who other students tried to set on fire. That and non-action resulted in her moving her son to another school. That was a few years back. Today this same kid who was bullied at his school for so long and forced to leave is now a student teacher in same school. There was some sweet justice that took place when this, now grown man reminded some of those still at that school since his bullying incidents of who he was and that he was back as one of their own who came back and will never turn his back on a victim.


  4. Lynn says:

    Heartbreaking, as a person who suffers from depression (since adolescence) it breaks my heart to know the despair and desperation these poor children are experiencing that leads then to take their life. I could not watch the entire video because I was in tears. It is time that we look at ourselves as a society, and even if one is not religious or a follower of any faith, we all are human and we MUST start treating one another with more respect, caring and compassion — teens are not the only bullies in this society. We need a major shift in consciousness starting at the top (gov’t, corp elite etc — who learn to value their people more than the profits – I can dream). Her family must be devastated. Next time you pass a person on the street who looks down and out and maybe a bit scary, consider the mental health issues and be certain that person did not set out to have that life. What have we become? is something I ask myself several times a day esp. when I see stories like this. So sad.

  5. Ty says:

    One problem is “zero tolerance” rules regarding fights, etc.

    Some kids care if they get automatically suspended, some don’t. Instant problem that encourages bullies and scares people out of standing up for themselves.

  6. Darren says:

    Making it easier is part of the problem. At the point where a bully commits an act of violence against another person, the should lose the ability to claim victimhood. The bully’s world need to fall apart when confronted with their actions. You can either make compassion a priority or zero tolerance a priority but not both. Too many zero tolerance approaches look to address the root causes which, to me, are irrelevant as soon as the bully commits an act of violence or intimidation.
    When most people hear about these kinds of stories, they think of retribution and maybe that’s not a bad place to start – society has many options long before it gets to vigilantism. Suspension from school, social ostracization, criminal or civil action. Portraying the bully as a victim hasn’t worked and won’t work. Time to take the gloves off when dealing with bullies.

  7. How about teaching kids how to have the courage to put themselves between the bully and the victim.

    Make defending the bullied a very cool thing to do.

    Make it part of the curriculum.

  8. dave says:

    We had some school shootings over the years, and I missed the obvious connection to bullying. When a kid, or kids are carrying out revenge acts of violence, it is often useful to listen to what they said while they were carryingout their crimes. If the perpetrators are saying something like, “Get the jocks first!’ then pay attention. In schools there are cliques, sometimes cliques getting special protection and perks from the admin. Those cliques can be centres of bullying – harassment, uttering, assault, stalking conspiracy, …all kinds of crimes that are in the criminal code. Try looking at school shootings as being the same as workplace shootings. We cut down on workplace bullying by using the crimnal law, by using union contracts, by (in some provinces) sanctions in the employment standards regs. I fsomeone in a work place is doing things to others to destroy productivity, that perpetrator is removed. If a kid does the same in a school, destroying students’ ability to learn, then remove the perpetrator. If a crime is being committed against a kid,use the crim code to protect the kid, use tort law, …leaving it up to a shcool admin that wants to present a public face of a smoothly functioning machine just means cover up…”leave it to the parents…” type cover up.

    It has always puzzled me that we grown up, self reliant, ruggedly individualistic adults expect protection under a criminal law and criminal justice system, but, somehow, we think that the same crimes perpetrated against much more vulnerable kids is just a part of growing up.

  9. CQ says:

    Sack Up. That goes for so many bystanders as well as victims. I deplore this story as well; but we need to change our default culture of self-defencelessness. For example only: Your son shouldn’t be ‘telling you’ about a close friend being assaulted, he should be asking for an icepack the next day and ‘showing’ a bruise of pride and a worth-it school suspension. What on earth is so ever terrible about “getting into trouble”? What on earth is wrong about taking on the feared beating? But he should first make sure to objectively distinguish between a friend actually getting beaten up by multiple others versus just getting razzed while simply not standing up for one’s self.

  10. david ray says:

    the only thing a bully understands is more pain than that which he dished out. the greatest wishful thinking visual i’ve ever seen was in the movie “Bad Santa” where Billy Bob Thornton’s character handles a bully on behalf of his abused son. How I wish my dad had done that for me when I too went to St Mike’s. Priceless. The movie is hilarious but that scene alone is worth the price of admission.

  11. trt says:

    This is an unfortunate consequence of the JUST SOCIETY brought to us by Mr Kinsella, his friend Pierre Trudeau and the other HUG A THUG Liberals that believe the low life of this country are to be supported in the filth they wallow in while the good, decent people of the country must take the crap handed out by these low lifes. Mr Trudeau gutted the courts bringing in Judges who had no time for punishing the guilty, finding them all to be poor under-priviledged souls in need of our sympathies. Even if they catch the individuals who pushed this girl to her death, the Liberal’s YOUTH CRIMINAL PROTECTION ACT will ensure they are treated with kid gloves, treated as heroes of the JUST SOCIETY while Amanda Todd pays with her life. The time to have had sympathy for Amanda was years ago while the JUST SOCIETY was being created. It is a great society that you and your Liberal friends have created here in Canada Mr Kinsella. I hope you are proud of yourself.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I wish that some poor kid who’s being cyber-bullied would just let me talk to their harasser online, in the victim’s place. Nothing changes a bully’s perspective more than being answered by a 60 year old’s voice, in a 14 year old’s body. You know, just carry on the conversation in a different tone. It would work wonders, the biggest part of changing a bullying pattern is to change the perspective that the bullies have of the victim. The pattern has to be broken.

    My daughter was bullied, and said that she believes (and I think she’s right) that once it starts, there is very little you can do to change it. It goes underground, bullying incidents take seconds, and most adults, especially teachers are either clueless about bullying or they refuse to address it. And then you have the problem of bullying teachers, or teachers who enable bullies. Huge problem. I’ve been bullied, and I’m super-sensitive about it, recognize it at once. RIP Amanda.

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