VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Eight years after a Coquitlam teen tragically took her own life after being cyberbullied, her mother has continued to speak out on Canada’s growing epidemic.
After posting a YouTube video explaining how she had been blackmailed and bullied online for years. Amanda Todd died in 2012.
To this day, Amanda’s mother, Carol Todd, is continuing to talk about the impacts on bullying in a new Telus documentary called Dark Cloud which is now available.
Carol explains while she works to inform more Canadians about cyberbullying in the age of social media, it’s important to have a toolkit to overcome the malicious behaviour.
“The devices are the tools,” she says. “It becomes a free for all to put any comment that pops in your mind. Whether it’s pro or against, social media now has such an impact in our life. We get news from it, we go shopping on it, we play games on it … and we have to know how to handle it.”
Carol says there is a responsibility in order to educate and protect social media users, adding “it’s like driving a car.”
“You have to learn how to do it. And how to use it before you can get out there and drive on the road safely. That, to me, in my thought is exactly the same thing as a technology device.”
But Carol says she’s not optimistic that society will eliminate bullying.
“But we have to continue to work hard in teaching young people and their families about what anti-bullying really means, and it means treating people with love and respect and kindness and compassion. And giving examples and stories, and making sure that we follow through with the empathy because that’s what’s going to change the bullying culture out there,” she says.
“On this Thanksgiving weekend, we have to be thankful for what we have. And we can’t hate and hurt other people because it could end up in a tragic story like Amandas.”
Saturday marked the anniversary date of Amanda’s death, but years later, Carol says she is amazed by the ongoing support worldwide.
“So, the importance of having her story continue to change lives is really important to me,” she tells NEWS 1130.
“People ask me ‘why I do it?’ or ‘how I do it?’ And because I’m a mom. This is my child, and I know she’s no longer with us, but it’s really important to continue mothering, parenting, educating on. It makes me feel really good when I hear a story that Amanda’s story has shifted a negative impact to a positive impact. So, I will keep doing it. As long as I can.”
According to documentary filmmakers, 1-million youth in Canada have experienced cyberbullying firsthand the documentary.
If you need help or just someone to talk to, you can call B.C.’s line at 1-800-SUICIDE any time. The national line is 1-833-456-4566.