Photo: Contributed - Amanda Todd
Bullied to death - 15-year-old Amanda Todd
Lower Mainland District RCMP wish to reassure the public that there is a full investigation underway into the circumstances surrounding the Oct. 10th death of Port Coquitlam teen Amanda TODD. The BC Coroners Service is also investigating her death.
“Serious crime teams in Coquitlam and Ridge Meadows are working together, conducting interviews and reviewing any potential contributing factors to her death,” says Sergeant Peter Thiessen, spokesperson for Lower Mainland District RCMP Regional Police Service.
He says investigators are also reviewing and actively monitoring social media, and that Coquitlam Detachment’s victim services remain engaged with the teen’s family.
“This is a devastating tragedy, which impacts the community as a whole. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of this young person,” says Sgt. Thiessen.
Sgt. Thiessen acknowledges that there is significant concern within schools, the community and the broader public regarding the role bullying could have played in this incident, but says it is too soon for police to comment on this issue in regard to Amanda’s tragic death.
“However, BC RCMP has publically stated in the past that bullying ranks second, behind substance abuse, for youth issues identified as concerns by our detachments,” says Sgt. Peter Thiessen.
He reminds the community that many can play a role in helping to keep schools bully free and to report any acts of bullying or assist those who are victims of bullying.
Parents should always try to keep open lines of communication with their children so they are comfortable coming forward if they are being bullied at school.
A number of resources are available to youth and their parents through the www.deal.org website. These include facts on what bullying is, why people bully and who they target and how parents can deal with their child, whether they are being bullied or are the ones doing the bullying. Other recommended resources include www.bullying.org or www.cyberbullying.ca.
A teenager's apparent suicide has launched an investigation that the coroner's office promises will be complex and comprehensive.
Coroner Barb McLintock says in order to make effective recommendations to halt similar tragedies, issues ranging from school and mental health support to cyber and social media bullying must be explored.
She cautions that any answers explaining the death of 15-year-old Amanda Todd will not come quickly.
Todd died Wednesday, just weeks after posting a haunting video online outlining years of harassment and bullying after she was convinced to expose herself to an unknown man via webcam while in Grade 7.
Here is Amanda's YouTube Video.