Nova Scotia

Bullied teen's death sparks campaign

The death of a 15-year Nova Scotia girl has prompted a campaign to end cyberbullying.
Jenna Bowers-Bryanton, 15, was bullied at school and online. (CBC)
The death of a 15-year-old Nova Scotia girl has prompted a campaign to end cyberbullying.

Jenna Bowers-Bryanton, of Belmont, was harassed at school and through a social networking site. She took her own life in January.

"She was like a shining star. She lit up a room," said Marsha Milner, whose two children were friends of Jenna's.

Milner said the bullying was relentless. Jenna cut so many classes at Cobequid Education Centre that she withdrew for the rest of the semester.

The anonymous comments on were vicious, Milner said.

"They told her she had no talent, that she was ugly, that she may as well go kill herself," said Milner. "The things that were said to her and the way she was bullied pushed her over the brink."

Marsha Milner is campaigning for Jenna's Law. (CBC)

Milner hopes to see a new law named after Jenna.

After the teen's death, Milner joined the group Nova Scotia Parents Against Bullying, which would like to see a new law that requires counselling for bullies.

"A lot of times the bully was a person that was bullied before in the past. So they need help, they need counselling. It can't be swept under the rug," said Milner.

Milner also joined Formspring to review comments and track down bullies. Some of the replies have been nasty, she said.

"They tell me that I'm useless, I'm no good, to get off the site. I try to talk them through it and ask if they've been bullied before."

Milner hopes she can make a difference to prevent other deaths.

The campaign for a new law is in the early stages. Milner is still doing research, but the group is letting provincial politicians know its plans.