Nova Scotia to remember Amanda Todd
Teen's aunt pleads for change
Two vigils will be held on Friday in Nova Scotia to remember a B.C. teen who took her own life after posting a YouTube video about the unrelenting harassment she had been suffering.
Leana Todd of Truro, N.S., remembers her 15-year-old niece as the girl who sang at Christmas dinner.
Now millions of people know Amanda Todd as the girl who made a silent plea for help on a YouTube video before committing suicide.
Todd first saw her niece's video weeks before Amanda's death. The family spread it around as a sign of solidarity and support.
Todd doesn't speak in the video, but explains via flashcards that her troubles began in Grade 7, after she was convinced by an unknown man over the internet to "flash" her breasts to a webcam.
Her bullying video has been viewed millions of times on YouTube.
Leana Todd said she's trying to turn a cry for help into a story of change.
"Something has to change. Something big has to change because it's becoming an epidemic, it's becoming a choice that people are considering," she said.
Condolences are pouring in by the thousands and Todd's aunt says the family is overwhelmed.
"I don't want to say we're pleased, because of the reason why it's happening, but in terms of the support, absolutely thrilled. And in terms of the fire that's fuelling people to do something, absolutely thrilled," she said.
Todd vows Amanda's death will not be forgotten.
She's starting a campaign to speak out against cyber bullying and is organizing two vigils for Friday evening: one in Truro's Victoria Park and one in Halifax's Grand Parade, pending permission.
"When I heard about it, I felt powerless. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I felt powerful. I thought, 'Why don't I use the resources I have'," she said.
Todd lives in an area that has seen its share of loss. Last year, three teenaged girls in the Truro area committed suicide — all the victims of bullying.
She is asking everyone to watch Amanda's video. She said she wants parents to sit down with their kids, schools to address it in class and politicians to take action.
"These are kids, these are children who are dying. That's not ok. That's not ok to sit around and let that happen," she said.
Through it all, Todd said she wants people to remember that Amanda is more than just a headline.