Friday, October 12, 2012

Bullying Cause of Suicide... Again... Amanda Todd

Amanda Todd took her life the other day. Bullying was too much for her. She pleaded for help. None came.

Heart Breaking. Madding. Shameless. Gut-wrenching.

What is the answer? Can we stop bullying? Can there be something good to come out of this horrible action? Should the people who bullied her be "outed".  What happens then? They become the pariah of their community?

Amanda Todd chronicled years of cyber-bullying in a video she posted in September. (YouTube)
A Vancouver-area teen who used YouTube to share her heart-wrenching story of being bullied online and beaten at school has killed herself, unleashing a torrent of social media condolences and soul-searching.
Amanda Todd was found dead in Coquitlam on Wednesday night, less than a month before her 16th birthday.
News of her torment and death are being shared on social media through Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter, where #RIPAmanda is trending.

 This is not going to stop anytime soon. There are unthinking people out there. As people we make mistakes. This young girl said she made one. Why was that a reason to torment her endlessly? Those tormentors also made a mistake. Will there be any redemption for them?

I am so disheartened by the whole thing. That poor young girl. Her parents, her friends.

You go online to the videos of her and some of the comments are just sickening. Bullying her again.

Yes there are some mean people in the world. Some are just stupid. Doesn't make it right.

What can be done? Should the bullies be made an example of? In the end really what can be done? You don't want to end bullying by bullying the bullies, right?

A sad day.  

THE BEGINNING: On Sept. 7, 2012, 15-year-old Amanda Todd posted a video on YouTube documenting her battle with cyber-bullies, dating back to Grade 7. She said she wanted to help other young people.
LURED ONLINE: She was convinced by someone believed to be an online pedophile to flash him. The photo was later circulated to her relatives, friends and schoolmates.
FALLING INTO DEPRESSION: Amanda said the incident led to her being shunned at school, and left her feeling alone, depressed and suicidal.
ACTING OUT: In an attempt to deal with her feelings, Amanda said she turned to drugs and alcohol. She later started cutting herself. At the end of the video, she shows the scars on her arms.
CONFLICTS AT SCHOOL: Amanda switched schools, but the cyber-bully shared the images again. She was confronted by a group of teens at her new school and beaten up. She said she went home and drank bleach, while kids hounded her online.
FINAL ACT: On Wednesday, Oct. 10, Amanda took her own life. The RCMP said Friday it has launched an investigation into the circumstances that led to her death.


  1. You don't have to "out" the bullies. You could just set an example; talk about a better way of living; promote the responsibilities of Dodem; define and promote good behaviour; encourage young people to learn to carry and empower one another instead of seeking the false sense of power that comes from bullying.

    Your defeatist attitude on this issue is disheartening. Not at all like an Ogichidaa. Are there bullies in your home community that prevent you from speaking out against it? Have they threatened you or your family? If that's the case, then I doubt you are alone. Find out who else is under their power; unite; become strong together. That's what true Anishinaabe do.

  2. Yes it is disheartening. Not sure if there is light at the end of the tunnel sometimes. How can be there be redemption by the bullies if they don't acknowledge they did something wrong. And I agree it may cause more harm if they are outed. At the same time what steps can be taking to stop this. It is not an isolated incident. This has happened before and will continue to happen.

    1. You didn't read the comment at all. Some steps to take are listed. I didn't say that "outing" the bullies will cause harm, that was just a response to what you wrote.

      Can you image if a young Ojibway/Anishiinabe person read this blog looking for inspiration and found a self-declared Ogichidaa saying nothing could be done. This is conduct unbecoming of Ogichidaag.

      I've been reading your blog for a while now, but never felt compelled to make a comment until now. This will also be the last time I make a comment or even look at this blog.

    2. If there are Ojibway/Anishiinabe youth reading this blog, don't believe the writer. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It make take a generation, it may take several generations, but we will reach the light. Your mission, your purpose, the reason you suffer, is to help us reach the light. No matter how hard things are, endure. When you get older, you will be the one to create positive change for our people. The things you suffer today will not be in vain. Even if you can't find elders, chiefs, or ogchidaa to believe in, believe in your ancestors who watch you and love you. Become like them: proud, responsible, and always faithful to the responsibilities given to them by creator through the clan system. Teach the responsibilities of dodem to everyone younger than you. Some day you'll be a great elder.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Had a spelling mistake.

      Not sure what I said. I don't want anyone to suffer? Bullying is wrong. How to overcome that bullying is something that I question. Much of the questions I posted is that I am not sure if there is a right or wrong answer to them. I didn't try and answer them, only put forth questions for flush thoughts. Not sure why you are warning off youth from the blog and not to believe me? In any case thank your for your thoughts. Sorry that I lost a reader. Steve

    2. Tell me, and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.
      I do believe that’s what Steve has always been doing: trying to involve people, to make us think, to make us participate. I have never heard him preaching defeat, on the contrary I see him fighting and involving others in the struggle with bullying.
      I was educated by my Elders to remember that wherever I am and whatever I do, I represent my people ;to be aware that some will say : “so that’s what them Indians are”. What could I say about Ojibway/Anishiinabe relatives after speaking with Steve? That you are wise, modest people who do not boast and who remember we are all children of our Creator. I will say you have courage to fight and no fear of speaking the truth. Not to forget: you are gifted and have a wicked sense of humour, the same we all share: Mohawk, Dineh, Ndee or Oglala.
      If this is what your people are then Steve is one good rep of your great nation .

  4. This "Anonymous" is a good example of a bully. Steve never pretends to have all the answers, yet his wisdom often comes through by the question asked. No one has the answer "Anonymous" , but we need people like Steve to ask the question. I have and will again recommend Steve's blog to others.

  5. Some good articles I thought I would share. Misogyny and sexism are a big part of this.

    Systemic sexism and the death of Amanda Todd -

    Why isn't anyone talking about the misogyny involved in Amanda Todd's life and death? -

    Do you know if she has First Nations ancestry? Her hair makes me wonder...

  6. There are calls to legislate online bullying...

    Youth advocate Diane Sowden says a provincial strategy is needed to end the online sexual exploitation of children and the type of bullying that led Port Coquitlam teenager Amanda Todd to take her own life.

    "Sowden was joined in her call for a provincewide strategy by Amanda’s mother Carol as the two got together at the Todd home on Sunday."

    Read more:

  7. Anishinaabekwe, you are so right about the absence of discussion around misogyny. Even in my own post I Put it that "she made a mistake". Putting the blame on her when it is wrong. She is a child that was targeted by a creep. It is not her fault. It is the act of the creep and those that followed that harmed her. We should open our minds and think.

  8. She shouldn't have done flashing herself. If she knows how to protect herself, these won't have happened. I think we must emphasize on protecting oneself from the net.

  9. It is a case of luring a child by a predator. Happens too much, poor kids.

  10. Lack of empathy in human society, promotion of narcissistic attitudes is the breeding ground for bullies, malignant perverts and psychopaths. More and more kids are “welcomed” to this world by narcissistic mothers who will be around to destroy and isolate them, enabling fathers who won’t protect them; and finally by the society of predators ready to devour a more sensitive type. Fighting the occurrence of suicides means to me a “core war”.