The loss or death of someone you are close to can actually bring people closer. It can motivate people to let grudges go, to change bad habits, or appreciate the people and time they have because they realize that both can be gone in a second.
There has been a recent increase in teen suicide because of bullying. At first this seemed to really bring people together: anti bullying campaigns were started, celebrities who were tormented in high school shared their stories about how things get better, and a majority of people developed sympathy for the ones who had taken their own lives because of bullying.
However with the recent suicide of a young girl named Amanda Todd I have seen the tides take an ugly turn. About a month before her suicide Todd posted a Youtube video that used note cards to talk about her struggles with bullying as well as her turn to drugs, alcohol, and cutting as forms of self-medication.
Todd was in 7th grade when a 30 year old man cajoled her into showing him her breasts through her webcam. When Todd ignored his further advances he threatened to release her photo to everyone she knew unless she “put on a show for him”.
He found out where she lived, who her friends were and her school, then he released the picture to everybody he could reach. Todd ended up moving to a different school to escape everyone who had seen the picture.
The video goes on to talk about Todd hooking up with another student in her class when she knew he had a girlfriend. When his girlfriend found out about it, Todd was beaten outside her school by a group of students and left in a ditch.
She developed depression, an anxiety disorder, and attempted suicide by drinking bleach. She switched schools numerous times but was continually harassed about her suicide attempt, learning disabilities, and the topless photo. And even now, when she is dead and not able to defend herself the attack continues.
People have a way of turning something tragic into an opportunity for their causes. A week after Amanda Todd’s death Facebook posts began to spring up questioning why we focus on Amanda Todd when there are thousands of troops dying in Afghanistan. There were also Facebook posts about how mentally handicapped kids are committing suicide and they aren’t getting as much attention.
What people fail to realize is that Amanda Todd didn’t commit suicide so she could get more attention than handicapped kids and soldiers in Afghanistan. She was a young girl who felt scared, depressed, and hopeless.
She didn’t want to make the 10 o’clock news; she wanted to escape the pain that she dealt with everyday of her life. I am not denying that she made mistakes, but guess what, everyone makes mistakes and I bet that Amanda Todd regretted them every day.
Saying the bullying was her fault because of the mistakes she made is like blaming a rape victim because she wore a short skirt. Tearing down a dead kid won’t stop bullying against handicapped children and won’t bring the soldiers home, all it does is make you seem like a jerk. Amanda Todd was put through enough. Just let her rest in peace.
-Devon Fore, News Editor