Amanda Todd, 15, was found dead in her home town of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia on October 10, 2012. About a month before, she posted a video on YouTube called “My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self-harm.” Since her death, the video has gotten over 3 million views. In the video, Amanda talks about her struggles with many years of bullying in school and on the Internet. She also discusses her suicide attempt.
This heartbreaking video is in black and white with Amanda showing flashcards with writing on them to tell her story. You rarely see her face throughout the video except for the few times she moves her head down. She starts out by saying she is going to tell us her “never ending story.” She goes on by saying how, in seventh grade, she used to use webcams to talk to and meet new people. They made her feel good about herself by calling her words like “stunning” and “beautiful.” One of the people she met was an older man who convinced her to flash her chest. The man took a photo of it. A year later, he contacted her and tried to get her to send him a video. He claimed if she did not, he would expose the picture of her chest to everyone Amanda knew, which he ended up doing via Facebook. She ended up getting backlash from the students at school for the photo.
Moving to different towns
Amanda moved towns to try and get away from the bullying, but it followed her to every new school. The picture was leaked on Facebook again, which led to more bullying, online and in school. This led her to severe depression and anxiety, along with drug and alcohol abuse. She wrote in her video, “I can never get that photo back. It’s out there forever.”
Amanda also told a story where she made a “huge mistake” and “hooked up” with a boy at her school who had a girlfriend, but she thought he really liked her. A week later, she received a mean text from the boy’s girlfriend. A group of students, led by the boy’s girlfriend, approached her and told her nobody likes her. The students then encouraged the girl to punch Amanda, which she did. Amanda said in her video, “She threw me to the ground and punched me several times. Kids filmed it. I was all alone and left on the ground.” Amanda’s dad found her in a ditch. Amanda then went on to drink bleach in attempt to kill herself but was sent to the hospital in time to get her stomach pumped. After she got home from the hospital, the bullying continued via the Internet.
The bullying continued
Amanda moved schools again but the cyber bullying continued. Towards the end of her video, Amanda said, “Every day I think, why am I still here? I’m stuck. What’s left of me now? Nothing stops. I have nobody. I need someone. My name is Amanda Todd.” A month later, she committed suicide. Her parents wanted to say that there were several supports in place for their daughter on the school, home and community levels.
Amanda’s school is providing resources in regards to suicide prevention and bulling. Cheryl Quinton, spokeswoman for the Coquitlam School district, said, “We typically, as a school district, don’t talk about such death but with the family’s endorsement, we did choose to do so because it is important to point out the dangers associated with social media and cyber-bullying.” Amanda’s story is tragic. Awareness needs to be raised to put all forms of bullying to an end.