I have sat on this for the last twenty-four hours mindful of how I approach this article given the anti bullying campaign, Bullying Bites TV, I have undertaken recently.
First of all I offer my deepest condolences to Amanda Todd’s family, a young girl bullied for years until she could take it no longer and after multiple attempts, finally “succeeded” in ending her life.
I put the word “succeeded” in inverted commas because this is far from a success story and the very reason I was hesitant to write about it. There is no success story when we lose a precious life that has not barely even begun. She was a teenager. And I am also conflicted in shining a light on the video she made A MONTH BEFORE her death and that somehow NO ONE listened to enough to get her the help and support she needed to SURVIVE.
And I also do not want, in any way, to glamorize suicide. By focusing much needed attention to a plague that is killing our children, we also reiterate that it looks like the only way to “be heard” is when it is too late. That is the very fight I am fighting. It is not too late to be saved and get help. Please believe me. Just ask the right people. There’s a whole lot of us determined to save as many lives as we can, so come to us. The Statue of Liberty says, “Bring me your tired, weary and poor” and each and every anti bullying advocate is screaming, “Talk to US! We will help you. You are NOT alone!”
We have failed our kids if we don’t listen to their cries for help, if we don’t create a safe and nurturing space for them to reach out for help and if we do not listen to them.
Can you hear me? Can you hear them? Obviously not as we lose another beautiful soul who by no fault of her own made a few bad choices and was not allowed to move on from them. Where has forgiveness gone?
And I do hope the police hunt down every person who cyber “stoned” this girl to death and make them pay for what they have done.
But there is one thing I feel just as strongly about. The graverobbing Youtube user who took Amanda’s video, stripped the music from it, added advertising to it and is amassing more hits than the original and when last checked had over 300,000 hits and thus a tidy little sum of money mounting at the expense of this poor girl’s death. Shame on YOU! I can’t believe you would profit on the death of another individual. It sickens me and I hope that more people get on this particular bandwagon and insist every single cent you make be taken from you and given to Amanda’s family or anti bullying charities.
Kids, please listen to this….we ARE listening, there ARE people who can and WILL help you through, there are thousands of anti bullying charities online and any one of them would have helped Amanda had she reached out to the right people. That is exactly why I am building Bullying Bites TV. I want there to be one place where kids can and will be heard and where they can take their cries for help and instead make messages of hope, having received the inspiration and motivation to go on, then guiding others through the storm.
I sat in the bathroom and howled for the loss of this life. She could be anyone’s child. Now she is everyone’s as we mourn for the little girl who would be heard. Please do NOT let it be in vain.
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Rest in Peace Amanda Todd.