One of our city newspapers (The Province newspaper) had an article today about SEXTING today.
(http://www.theprovince.com/life/spinning+control+Sexting+among+teens+rise+despite+devastating/8687622/story.html) It was 3 pages and was (in my opinion), very well written. I knew it was being written. I talked to the journalist reporter. What I wasn’t prepared for was the photo they used. I guess I was pleasantly surprised. It struck me as interesting for the reason that the Justice Minister last Friday put out a press release about the government’s new legislation regarding the sending out of intimate photos. And then Amanda had the cards that said that those haunting words we will never forget. Every time something comes up, there is a piece of her video that corresponds. I have only watched it twice in its entirety with music playing. I just can’t do it. If I need to see it, I choose to watch it without sound. It’s easier for me. As I look at the cards, there are so many lessons and discussions that can be had with them. Things that can be learned by others. As Emily said in the article, it has changed the ways she and other teens look upon social media. Snapchat. Ask.fm. Oovoo. Tumblr. Instagram. To use or not to use? And if you use, how will you choose to use it?
There were so many important details that can be learned and used from this article.
“Const. Heather Partridge, a VPD school liaison officer, says dealing with “sexts” and sexual pictures that are being spread around schools occupies about 30 per cent of her job. Ten years ago, the issue didn’t exist. Five years ago, it wasn’t really on the radar. But in the last couple years, the problem has only increased.”
“Experts say the Internet is certainly the new school playground where bullies and predators hunt for prey. But, unlike the real world, it’s much harder to put up fences.
The hope, experts say, lies in better education.”
“Police also see sexually explicit photos being used as blackmail. As in the Todd case, girls may be convinced to expose themselves on webcam once, and then be blackmailed into sending more photos.”
“Boys are vulnerable through the gaming world, where predators are known to pose as girls to get them to send sexual photos before threatening to post them unless they’re given money.”
“The Ministry of Education confirms the B.C. school curriculum does not specifically address sexting, although the province’s new ERASE Bullying resources and website contain material about cyberbullying.”
“The teens with the deepest understanding are those who have seen friends, or have themselves been, hurt by social media.”
How many teens in Canada have been affected by this? How many have we lost? I commend the federal government for finally tabling this and bringing a possible change to the criminal code. But why has it taken this long. There is cyberharassment. There is also exploitation through photos. Amanda Todd went through this. Rehtaeh Parsons went through this also. It was brought to the attention of the government back in October 2012. Then tabled again on April 24, 2013 after another death. Why did it take 6 months? Could history and events have been changed if something had happened back in October? My heart says yes. That is what saddens me. The slowness of ‘the system’. Why does it take tragedies to evoke change? Why do we not look at things and think forwardly – all the positives and possible minuses?
As I have said before, losing friends (whether you are young or old) is so very hard. Especially when it is unexpected and there were no good-byes. I am so glad that there is a bench for Amanda’s friends to sit on. It is even a place for those who didn’t know Amanda when she was alive to come to (as I have seen recently). In the past week, I have had a couple of Amanda’s friends come to the house to visit. Now that her bedroom door is open, her friends can go up to her room if they want to. One of her friends who came by last week brought her a sucker. Thank you Jesse!!! xoxo
There was a walk today dedicated to Amanda – Wreck Beach Preservation Society