April 16, 2013 – As time goes on without PS …6 months + 6 days after October 10th

As I read the online news about the recent stories in the media related to sexual exploitation/assault, RCMP investigations, the death of Audrie Potts in California, it made me continue to reflect on how sad it makes me feel that young lives have disappeared and that families are left to pick up the lost pieces.

Many people (young and old) are saying out loud, why do those girls get all the attention in the way they chose to leave the earth.  My response would be (and I can only speak for my own daughter):  When Amanda left our physical world, she had no idea that she would become a world wide name mentioned everywhere on TV, social media, radio, newspapers, etc.  Her dream was not to become posthumously known.  That was her dream when she was alive.  To be a famous singer and ‘rock the world’.   To those that think that the young people who have become known to us in the news wanted to be noticed this way, you are so very wrong.  It is just the way it was.  The media picked it up and went with it.

Not every teen who self harms fatally is talked about.  For the one that is talked about, there are so many that aren’t.  The big debate is to whether it should be covered by the media.  Should it be talked about at school.  Over the dinner table.  At church.  Does it cause copycat actions?  Or does the discussion promote encouragement in teens to talk more about what they are feeling?  Or go for help more frequently?  Or help a friend in need?

I think I have written about all this before.  We need to educate our young people about the signs on mental illness so that they are aware of it within themselves or with their friends.  It isn’t anything to hide.  It isn’t a medical condition that needs to be laughed at.  The brain is just another part of the body.  Do we dare laugh at someone with cancer?  Or someone who has had to have a leg amputated?  So why is it (in the minds of some) OK to laugh and make fun of someone who suffers from mental illness or mental health issues.  That is just downright mean, selfish, ignorant, and I am sure there are many more adjectives that can be used.

My next rant would be to ask ‘Are there enough doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, clinicians, social workers, psychiatric nurses, hospital beds, etc for children and youth in need?’  Is the support timely?  If not, why?  If yes, what is your city or region doing right? Different cities and countries.  I would be interested to know how mental health support care is in other parts of Canada, the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia, etc.

Another rant I have is this.  The media is varied on their reporting of Rehtaeh, Audrie, Amanda and even Phoebe Prince.  The media talks about rape (sexual assault) and then sexual expoitation with the photos over social media.  Some reporters leave Amanda’s name out. I wonder why.  Amanda’s life ended 6 months ago. Is that a long time in media standard?  Hate the saying but … old news????  BUT ….. Amanda was also sexually exploited online.  Not only by an online predator BUT by other kids who she thought were friends.  Once that picture was posted, young people copied that picture into their devices.  And yes it was shared many times.  Amanda knew some of the kids that shared.  She told the RCMP names.  They investigated.  I loved that at those meetings both the kid and their parents were in attendance and involved in the process of the discussion.  More impact.  More strength.  So yes, Amanda’s picture(s) were shared and reshared during the span of 12 months. That is SEXUAL EXPLOITATION. What we have to remember is that  it can’t be defined as a one time event.  It can be ongoing.  We need to teach our children and youth the values and importance of not condoning behaviours like that.  Bystanders need to be the voice and SPEAK OUT.

What happened to Amanda wasn’t that different from what happened to any of those other girls?  Just like the snowflakes.  No two stories were alike but each girl was unique and fragile in their own way.  When we talk as a nation about making change, we need to talk about all the kids that have been affected by adversities.

Remember that the louder the VOICE, the more it will be heard.  Let’s join forces to make ourselves heard.  You don’t have to have kids or be a parent right now.  It’s all about working together as the village to support your world.

xoxo Mama Snowflake

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About Carol Todd

Being the mother of Amanda Todd has lead me on this journey shortly after Amanda's death on October 10, 2012. Amanda's prolific You Tube video has been viewed over 33 million times. Through this video, there has been an increased awareness about cyberbullying, social media safety and mental health. www.amandatoddlegacy.org
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25 Responses to April 16, 2013 – As time goes on without PS …6 months + 6 days after October 10th

  1. Renée Bégin says:

    I think that it is a good thing that the media talk about tragedies of this type involving young people like Amanda and Reteah because a lot of us were not aware of the widespread harm that is being done through social media. Cases like this should be considered as criminal harassment and the perpetrators should be prosecuted and sentenced, no matter how old they are. I think too many kids take advantage of the benefits of being “under age” and of the relative anonymity that the Internet provides.
    In fact, I would not be surprised to learn that the “pedophile” in question is actually someone from the school Amanda was attending at the time. It might even be another girl who was jealous. Amanda had all the attributes of a “popular girl”: pretty, active (sports and cheerleading), talented (singing), she had a sunny disposition (you can tell from her pictures), etc. Some people think they are funny when they harass someone and make disparaging comments about them, it makes them feel better about themselves.
    Also, I don’t understand how come the investigation from the RCMP hasn’t produced any results. How can that be? There should have been plenty of leads in this investigation. This is very frustrating, in my opinion, someone HAS TO PAY for what happened to Amanda.
    P.S. The picture is absolutely lovely!

    Like

    • Savetheworld says:

      If the perpetrator was someone from school they would have resolved it by now, last we heard (from anonymous) is that it was someone from New York an adult and the RCMP equivalent in the US is working on the case as well.

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  2. Savetheworld says:

    We need to clean up the Internet so that trolls predators pedophiles etc don’t have access to children period!!! A child cannot go into a store and pick up a porn magazine or buy a porn video, so why should these disgusting sites be available to all on the net? Something needs to be done at a higher level we cant control all the pcs laptops etc kids habe access to. The Internet, media etc is promoting this kind of stuff, an innocent child could easily access these things and get a very wrong impression about life and morality and a really warped sense of what is right or wrong! Yes everyone makes mistakes people need to lay off that!! Who hasn’t!!! “let he who is without sin, cast the first stone” ! i dont understand people who act oblivious to the criminality of whats been done, ignore the obvious and try to turn things around pointing the finger to the victim? Its quite mind boggling. It’s actually frightening to read some comments people make on various sites it makes you wonder about humanity.

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  3. namedallas says:

    Hey Carol
    Your post was realy great.It realy got poeple thinking,and all the coments had so much thought and feeling in them .Poeple inspiring poeple that’s what makes a difference. Thanks Carol,thanks guy’s.

    Like

  4. Savetheworld says:

    If people don’t have anything good to say they should keep it to themselves. We definitely need to talk about these extremely serious issues. I tip my hat off to you and all the other parents who have brought this disgusting reality to light. God bless you for caring about the world and all the children in it! Amanda will never be forgotten, we stand behind you we are an army of people and we are growing each day. re the news , you are right they should have mentioned her name! It was definitely sexual exploitation. Thank you for being the change that we needed so desperately! Changes need to be made, kids even adults need to be educated about the dangers of the Internet and cyberbullying! God bless you and yours ❤

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  5. merle48 says:

    Beautifully said Tristan! ;Not ONE of us has ever made just ONE mistake…and what does it MATTER if there were one or one thousand and one? Who are WE to pass judgment? What don’t some people get? Amanda was a human being…like us…with a very complex mind…like us. The point isn’t what she “did or didn’t do” but that she was a young life worth living, and people gave her much misery. It truly unnerves me to realize the hypocrites we all are at times. It is very important for me to try and not be one. Amanda knows NOW how little these “worldly” things matter, because it really is all about LOVE. Like John Lennon sang, “All you need is LOVE.” Simple words yet so profound.

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    • Tristan says:

      Thank you merle48, you are so right! Lennon always had the right messages. Speaking of mistakes, there is something important that i forgot to put in my previous comment. Mistakes is only a part of human nature, where we need them to learn from. Sometimes making a mistake is just as important as not making one. One point i want to stress is , Amanda had every single humanly right to her mistakes (as we all do), But No one should have had the right to hold her to them.

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  6. Tristan says:

    One of the things that really bothered me with many of the commenters or ‘haters’ over social media sites about Amanda’s passing,was as if they were blaming her for getting all the attention. Like how is it her fault? There is no way possible she could of known that her story was going to blow up like it did and go national and international. They also accused her for claiming that she had only made ‘one mistake’. Ive asked the question everytime id see it posted somewhere “exactly where does she make that claim of only making just ‘one mistake’. No where in her video does she say anything about making one mistake,, she said ‘Big mistake’ on one card , or “I messed up” in another, but that is far from saying i only made ‘one mistake’.

    I just love the little paragraph about the brain is just like any other part of the body….. everything in there is just so true. Many good points you make and the questions you ask are very good,, not easily answered but would definitely be an excellent discussion.Amanda’s name may have been left out of a few news reports or articles recently but im sure we will be seeing her name spring up when it comes to talking about cyberbullying and other related things anytime in the near future. Im sure Oct.10th of any following year also aka ( world mental health day) will be a really busy day where she will be mentioned and talked about quite a lot.

    I so love this line that i will re post it here again, so that anyone reading this comment can re read this important message and wise words, and please think about it and let it sink in. (” Remember that the louder the VOICE, the more it will be heard. Let’s join forces to make ourselves heard. You don’t have to have kids or be a parent right now. It’s all about working together as the village to support your world”.)

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    • Hamsi says:

      Tristan, I too agree with everything you say, and you have expressed it very forcefully. I have always felt that in this publicity crazed world people are capable of feeling jealous of any kind of attention someone else is getting, even in death! But I would dispute this whole notion of mistake. When a 12 year old is lured by a pedophile she is not the one who is making a mistake! I know a lot of girls of that age and I know how gullible and innocent they are. Kudos to you for feeling on this topic so passionately and expressing your feelings.

      Like

      • Tristan says:

        Thank you Hamsi,, much appreciated,, something i forgot to put in my previous comment which i wanted to add. Speaking of mistakes, mistakes is only a part of human nature, where we need them to learn from. Sometimes making a mistake is just as important as not making one. One point i want to stress is , Amanda had every single humanly right to her mistakes (as we all do), But No one should have had the right to hold her to them.

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    • Colin Connolly says:

      I think its more the ‘one photo’ not ‘one mistake’ that observers talk of. No one can criticise anyone, particularly a teenager, for making one mistake. That’s ludicrous! We all makes mistakes continually in life…..its how we learn. It’s often the very worst mistakes we make that gives us our most valuable lessons. It’s a great pity that Amanda couldn’t see that regardless of what she did or didn’t do it wasn’t that bad. However people can be horrible & it obviously got to much for her. Just be careful not to label all observers or commenters who form a different opinion from yourself as ‘haters.’ Nothing could be further from the truth.

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      • Tristan says:

        I appreciate your opinion Colin and i can agree with the majority of it. However the point i was making was about all the comments that “I” have come across over social media sites referring to Amanda making a claim of only making one mistake. I (myself) actually do see more people going on about the “one mistake” more so than the photo. As for the photo, in her video she is clearly telling us about a paticular incident that happened to her and what had happened with one photo. She’s not stating or denying that its the only photo , but her story revolves around this paticular photo. Also wanted to mention that i do indeed have the word “commenters” in that line before the word haters. I chose the word haters because most of the time those comments i come across are direct hurtfully towards her or about her. My apologies if you may have misread or misunderstood my comment.

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      • Colin Connolly says:

        I appreciate your reply Tristan. My bad for misunderstanding you intended to differentiate between commenters & haters. We agree they are two different breds.

        I myself have seen more comments regarding the one photo myth. It has turned into a myth & was started with the video which implies it was a one off. One flash, one photo etc. This is what confuses & annoys people. Understandably perhaps the video didnt tell full story, & subsequent re-telling of story has changed from one photo to several photos to a video linked to a site. These inconsistencies (there are many more I won’t go into) are what causes more speculations. My point was someone noticing this & commenting on this is not a hater. I myself feel nothing but pity for the girl. Thanks for replying & not attacking! 🙂

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  7. GregSticker says:

    Sorry for the grammar errors.

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  8. GregSticker says:

    I am not a parent. I am nobody but a person who wishes they could make a difference. When the Twin Towers went down on 9/11 I was outraged and saddened. When Amanda told on You Tube her story I was shaken. Then I learned all about cyberbullying. I am no onwe. A bystander. I often question why does the God I was taught to believe in let these evils go on. Now Reteah, and the Boston tragedy. Our world is so inanely mad. I wish for once I could stand literally on a rooftop and scream “No More.” But what good would that do? I wish I could be rich enough to fund all the mental health programs and feed all the hungry kids. But alas, all I can do is pray. I was taught that meant something. But Meaning something and getting to be able to DO something, having the ability to make change happen. That is what I want. Am I making sense? What can I do? I am crying out for anyone to let me lend some kind of hand. that would make some kind of difference.

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  9. Andria says:

    Eu acredito que muita coisa esta mudando que você Carol esta fazendo a diferença temos que continuar e melhorar em nossa luta cada dia mais .as perguntas insanas sempre aparecerão …mas sempre havera uma resposta para calar !!! Não não podemos nunca desistir da luta por um mundo melhor !!! Seja forte !!

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    • Tristan says:

      Translation for Andria: I believe that much is changing this you Carol making a difference and we must continue to improve in our fight every day. Questions always appear insane … but always there will be an answer to shut up!! There can never give up the fight for a better world! Be strong!

      Like

  10. Paul K says:

    To namedallas-When I go for walks,I try to look people in the eye as we walk past eachother.I try to acknowledge them.Some people avert my gaze,most do not.It works like crazy.Just be nice.When I was a younger man,and we went to friends parties,sooner or later you run into somebody that has drunk too much alcohol,and starts to pick on people.Usually girls.We handled the situation like this.A bunch of us guys would slowly surround the loudmouth,and just stand there and talk.If he moved away,we would slowly filter back in around him.Bigmouth usually got the message.if not,we went to Stage 2.Eviction.I was at the mall not to long ago.Some big,tall guy was at the front door smoking,making rude comments to the seniors walking in.My Mom goes to that mall.As I walked past,I made eye contact with him.He just smirked at me,like as to say “what are you going to do about it,little man?”I went straight to Security,and he found out what I was going to do about it.Be aware of your surroundings,so you can maybe help people out,even though they themselves are not aware you are watching out for them.This is the “start” to make a difference,namedallas.Carol is handling things on the Macro level.We can handle issues on the micro level.We both cover a lot of ground if we employ ourselves like this.It Will make a difference.Be a better man.That is the promise I made to Amanda.That I would at least try.I do not intend to let her down.

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  11. namedallas says:

    Hi Carol
    I geuss my reply will be a question this time.And my question is what is our roll in this?We all know the roll that parents,students,and teachers play in these problems,but what about the rest of us .What things can we do to make a diffrence ?

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  12. The Media is very evil in a sense.. they like to report on what will get them a reaction, get them ratings and what will get people to read and watch. Also a lot of the Media reports on the Bullying aspect of it but don’t cover the sexual exploitation aspect as much. Its sad that kids these days think its funny to send around such pictures as a joke not thinking about the effects of their actions.

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  13. merle48 says:

    I meant “without” TYPO.

    Like

  14. merle48 says:

    I don’t need to add to this blog much, because you really poured out your heart in this one. I am once again saddened by the loss of young lives that could/should have bright futures ahead of them, I watched a report about Audrey Potts on Fox News yesterday where the interviewer mentioned a couple of the previous cases over the past year that were similar, however, no mention of Amanda…I was quite suprised, but hey, that’s the MSM for you! Amanda is the catalyst which has actually brought so much attention to these other heartbreaking stories…Aithout her, the exposure would likely be more subdued, lest we ever forget. All I can say is keep forging ahead…you’ve successfully tackeled every obstacle so far!

    Like

  15. terriemotta says:

    Well said. Hugs to u stay strong:)

    Like

  16. Hamsi says:

    When Amanda’s story first came out I remember reading a news item saying that the whole thing could have been nipped in the bud if the school authorities and the police had let it be known that it is illegal to posses or distribute such pictures of a minor. They failed in their duty in not doing it. Now many of us are wondering why the police still don’t have charges filed….as they move on to other cases they might let this slip. Carol, you have a voice, do continue to press for justice for your daughter. We are all behind you.

    It is also very commendable that you are pressing for a better life for all young people who go through situations like this. Amanda made a difference for all the kids who are coming after her.

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    • Tristan says:

      I first read this just minutes after it was posted, and I was just wowed at this blog, a very good one and powerful indeed. I’ll be back to leave a more in depth comment later, but for now, ill just say what a beautiful picture, and i really think this is an excellent blog.

      Like

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