Fifteen-year-old Amanda Todd of Vancouver was found dead on Wednesday, one month after she posted a heart wrenching cry for help on YouTube.
The 10th-grade cheerleader told her story in small phrases on flashcards in the colorless video. It all began when a topless photo she shared in an internet chat room resurfaced at school. A peer made the photo his profile picture on Facebook, and sent it to all of her friends and family.
Amanda developed anxiety and depression, which lead her down a path of drugs and alcohol. "I started cutting" reads one of the cards in her video. Months of cyberbullying progressed to physical attacks at school. "A guy then yelled 'just punch her already.' So she did... she threw me to the ground and punched me several times."
Amanda moved to a new town and changed schools, but she couldn't escape the torment. School officials say they connected her with counselors, and Amanda's video confirmed that she was on antidepressants and seeing a counselor regularly, but it wasn't enough.
Before creating the video, Amanda attempted to commit suicide by drinking bleach. She was rushed to a hospital, and survived. Once her peers learned about her suicide attempt, they began posting pictures of bleach containers online, and tagging her in them. One student wrote on Facebook, "She should try a different bleach. I hope she dies this time and isn't so stupid."
Amanda ended her video with the words "I'm stuck... what's left of me now... nothing stops. I have nobody. I need someone."
It's Bullying Awareness Prevention Month, and Carol Todd, Amanda's mother, wants the video to continue to be shown. She told The Vancouver Sun: "I think the video should be shared and used as an anti-bullying tool. That's what my daughter would have wanted."
Has your child ever been cyberbullied? How did you respond? Leave a comment.