Canadian Parliament To Discuss Bullying Prevention In Reaction To Amanda Todd's Suicide
The recent death of Canadian Amanda Todd, the 15-year-old girl who committed suicide about a month after posting a YouTube video that addressed her problems with online and personal bullying, is inspiring Canada's Members of Parliament to debate a motion that could lead to a national bullying prevention strategy.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have launched a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding Todd's death, reports the Ottawa Citizen, to see if any criminal activity took place, but many lawmakers are thinking it's not enough to simply criminalize bullying — that prevention is the key.
"I was bullied as a teenager," said MP Dany Morin. "I know firsthand what bullying really is like. But when the harm has been done, when a kid has been bullied for years, bringing the criminal charges to the bully will not solve the problem. The harm has been done. That's why I want to special committee to focus on prevention."
The mother of Julia Kiroauc, a bullying victim who tried to kill herself with a bottle of pills and survived, spoke out about the issue. "How many teenage girls and boys are going to kill themselves before we say, 'my god, we have to take responsibility for these children?" she said.
Ottawa, Ontario City Councillor and bereaved father Allan Hubley, who lost his teenage son to suicide, thinks something needs to be done yesterday. "There is a time for action now, instead of another study or anything like that," he said. "We have a definition of bullying. We already know a lot of the resources that can help bullying. But the frontline resources that will help these kids when they need it most, at that moment they’re about to make that decision, they are underfunded. That’s where we need to put our energies and our efforts.”
Carol Todd, Amanda's mother, also recently spoke out about the importance of watching Amanda's video and raising awareness about cyber bullying. "Amanda was a very caring individual," she told the Vancouver Sun. "She would help others who needed help. One of Amanda's goals was to get her message out there and have it used as a learning tool for others.”