B.C. girl's suicide foreshadowed by video
Port Coquitlam teen posted cry for help on YouTube
Tributes are pouring in for a Port Coquitlam, B.C., teenager who committed suicide after posting a video describing how she was tormented by bullies and struggling with depression.
Fifteen-year-old Amanda Todd's cry for help was posted in a YouTube video in September. YouTube took it down Thursday following her death.
The teen doesn't speak through the entire nine minutes, but flashes dozens of cards telling how she sank into depression after being relentlessly taunted and physically attacked at school.
She writes that it started after an unknown man convinced her to expose herself online in front of a webcam. He blackmailed her and spread the photos around, destroying her reputation.
She moved schools several times in Coquitlam and Maple Ridge, but couldn't escape bullies, Amanda says through the flash cards.
In the notes underneath the video, she writes, "I'm struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply.... Haters are haters but please don't hate," said the posting.
Amanda's friend, Gabriel Harrison, told CBC News that some of her tormentors were vicious.
"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.
Grief shakes community
News of the teen's death has sparked a wave of grief and anger online and in her community.
Cheryl Quinton, who is with the Coquitlam School Board, says the suicide has shaken students and staff.
- Crisis Centre - 1-800-SUICIDE
- Kids Help Line - 1-800-668-6868
"Student deaths in such tragic circumstances do hit a community very, very hard," said Quinton.
She said the school was aware of the video before Amanda took her life, and supports were in place to help her.
Bullying has been an issue for schools for decades, and it's particularly difficult to combat now in an age of social media, Quinton said.
Premier speaks out
B.C. Premier Christy Clark posted a message on YouTube expressing her own concern and condolences for the family.
"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," said Clark.
"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."
RCMP have released a statement saying it was an unimaginable tragedy that has a huge impact on the community as a whole.