After documenting a heart-breaking story about cyber-bullying on a video posted to YouTube last month, 15-year-old Amanda Todd was found dead Wednesday night in Coquitlam.
Her tragic death – a suspected suicide – has prompted many to speak out about the dangers of bullying, especially in the age of social media.
Premier Christy Clark posted a short video on YouTube today sending her sympathies to Amanda’s family.
“I just heard about Amanda. I want to say to everyone who loved her, to all her family and friends, how sorry I am about her loss,” Clark says on the video.
“No one deserves to be bullied. No one earns it. No one asks for it. It isn’t a rite of passage. Bullying has to stop.”
Amanda was a Grade 10 student at an alternative high school in Coquitlam called CABE (Coquitlam Basic Alternative Education), which has approximately 200 students in Grades 10 to 12.
Principal Paul McNaughton said the students and staff at the school are grieving today. He said Amanda, who joined the school halfway through the last school year and came back to start Grade 10 in September, had friends at CABE.
In the YouTube video, Amanda does not speak but instead holds up to the camera white pieces of paper on which her story is told, one phrase at a time. She documented a painful story of being harassed online and being shunned at school, leaving her feeling alone in the world.
In a message accompanying the video post, she added: “I’m struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply. I’m not doing this for attention. I’m doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to make pain go away, because I’d rather hurt myself then someone else. Haters are haters but please don’t hate, although im sure I’ll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyones future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I’m still here aren’t I ?”