Bring issues of bullying to light

Reporter: Melissa DeGasparis

Anti-bullying campaigns have increased in recent years with the increase of suicide and suicide attempts that have resulted from bullying, but are these campaigns being effective?
On Oct. 10, 15-year-old Amanda Todd from Port Coquitlam, B.C., was found dead in her home after committing suicide, almost one month after she posted a video to YouTube describing the bullying that she endured since she was 12. The video has Todd holding up signs about her bullying that include details about her anxiety and depression.
After news spread about Todd’s suicide, family, friends and strangers from around the world sent their condolences and created tribute Facebook pages using the same medium that often brought her down.
Though it’s amazing how this global village we live in was able to gather together to recognize and mourn the loss of an innocent young girl, why was it that no one was willing to help her and spread the message when she was screaming for help?
In Todd’s YouTube video, she holds up signs asking for help such as, “I have nobody… I need someone.” Why do we answer her plea for help now?
There have been many people who have written on YouTube and Facebook that Amanda Todd’s life has saved thousands of others, but why does there even have to be one life that is sacrificed?
It seems something drastic, like a suicide, must happen for people to take notice before a life is lost.
R.I.P Amanda Todd has become a trending topic on Twitter along with dozens of Facebook and YouTube videos that have also been created with this title. Her name is everywhere.
I am frightened for our youth because we have created a celebrity out of someone who has lost her way. In no way am I saying that we should not discuss the issues that surrounded Todd’s death, but we should leave the mourning and sorrow for family and friends and focus more on the issues. We should spread the word that bullying is a form of murder and is taking peoples lives, and rather use Todd as just one example.
These children who are suffering from bullying need more than just a Facebook fan base to support them. They need people to stand up and take action when they show any signs of asking for help.
In the description of Todd’s video she wrote, “I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyone’s future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through.”
Though Amanda Todd was unable to pull through to a brighter future, she demonstrates that she at one point saw a path that led her to a better life. We all have to pull together to help people in depression because of bullying see this brighter path and lead them towards it.
To eradicate bullying means to eradicate judgment that we place upon one another and that is not likely to happen. Because bullying will remain with us, it is best to report bullies to parents, teachers or authorities to help get rid of the problem and search for help.
A report of bullying happened recently in London, Ont. where eight teenage girls are facing criminal charges from a bullying investigation. Police have reported that the information about the bullying case was gathered through the school’s website portal, “South Cares”, an online reporting tool where students can anonymously post information about bullying concerning themselves and/or classmates. It’s a start.
We are the change that tomorrow brings. It is up to us to make the difference.For more information visit Canada’s Anti-Bulling Reporting Program at