31 Days of Lessons Learned: Day Fifteen
Mean People Suck – What we can learn from Amanda Todd’s Death
I read about Amanda Todd’s story for the first time today. I’m disgusted on many levels: as a person, as an adult, and as a parent. Her story is absolutely heartbreaking. Sure, she made a mistake by flashing on the internet, but no one deserves to to go through the hell and torment she did leading up to her death. I think I’m affected by this story even more because I’m a father of a little girl myself. She’s not quite three yet, but I think about the world she’s coming up in every single day. She’s growing up in an age where bullying seems more prevalent than ever before. She’s growing up in an age where people just don’t think about the repercussions of their actions. I can only protect her so much though. She needs to be raised to be a strong-willed , confident, and comfortable with herself. I also want to make sure she knows she can always come to me when something is bothering her.
I almost wonder if things might be different if Amanda had someone to talk to? Her YouTube video is just devastating to watch and I think it’s important for everyone to watch because it really shows the affects (and effects for that matter) of bullying and torment. If anything good comes out of this tragedy, it’s that I hope Amanda’s story helps save kids who may be in the same situation. Not only that, I hope the person who threatened Amanda with releasing the pictures is found, tried, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. At the basic level, this man is guilty of harassment and possession of child pornography. Throw the book at him!
Here’s her YouTube video. Hopefully, this will help you look at the issue of bullying and cyber bullying in a new light.
Aside from the video, I would also recommend you read Jay Asher’s YA novel called 13 Reasons Why. I read it when it came out and I still think about it to this day. It deals with a lot of the same issues brought out by bullying and Amanda Todd’s story. It’s heart-breaking, yet triumphant. It’s well-written and it will make you think, which is probably one of the most important things when dealing with bullying. If a bully thought about the consequences of their actions – some of which could be fatal – they just may have a change of heart the next time they wanted to harass someone.
What’s even more tragic than Amanda’s story is that this is not an isolated incident. People are getting bullied across the country – about religion, sexuality..you name it; some to the point of the same end result as Amanda Todd…it’s completely tragic. We’re better than this people.
Sure, we’ve all been bullied before in life and some take it better than others. For me, my weight and the fact that I moved around a lot were what I was bullied about as a kid. I let it slide, but it still sucked. Just stop bullying okay? As the Trevor Project says, “it gets better.” It really does. I have a great wife and kid and most of the folks who bullied me have not fared as well. There’s always someone out there to help you…don’t go it alone.
In the meantime, parents…hug your kids extra tight tonight.