Bullied teen posted silent cry for help

Oct. 12, 2012 at 4:53 PM
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PORT COQUITLAM, British Columbia, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A Canadian teenager committed suicide a month after posting a 9-minute silent video in which she used flash cards to tell her story of bullying and depression.

YouTube removed the video Thursday following the death of Amanda Todd, 15, of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

In her video, Todd wrote about how an unknown man lured her to expose herself online in front of a webcam, then blackmailed her and destroyed her reputation by disseminating the photos. She said she changed schools several times but became a target of bullies at each one, the CBC said.

"I'm struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply.... Haters are haters but please don't hate," she wrote on flashcards in her video.

A friend, Gabriel Harrison, told the CBC News some people were cruel to Todd.

"People were hating on her on Facebook and posting rude stuff on her wall and they'd give her shady looks and stuff and harass her in public, too," he said.

Following her suicide, school board and government officials voiced concerns about abusive behavior.

The Coquitlam School Board's Cheryl Quinton said bullying has been a problem for a long time and is hard to eliminate. She said school officials were aware of Todd's video and support measures were in place to help the teen, whose death has shaken the community.

"Student deaths in such tragic circumstances do hit a community very, very hard," Quinton said.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark posted a message on YouTube urging an end to abusive behavior.

"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," Clark said.

"Every child, everyone needs to be able to feel safe at school. And when we send our kids to school we need to know that they are going to come home safe."

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