Emotions run high at Amanda Todd memorial
Nearly one hundred people gathered to remember bullied teen Amanda Todd who took her life Oct. 10, 2012. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
Even during the worst times in her life, Amanda Todd was a shoulder to those who needed help around her, a close friend reminisced during heart-wrenching speeches at a Maple Ridge gathering for the dead 15-year-old.
“Amanda said to me one day when I was feeling at an all-time low that, ‘You are not alone,’” teen Austin Brown told 24 hours Monday. “Those words stuck to my head. I wasn't alone and I would tell her that everyday.”
More than 100 people gathered at Maple Ridge’s Peace Park to remember Todd, who committed suicide last Wednesday after years of bullying and being chased by an online stalker.
Brown and many others shared their own experiences about bullying in the driving rain. Some brought candles, others flowers. Those who spoke wished bystanders did more to intervene before it was too late for Todd.
Samuel Robertson Technical student Tara Tenenbein said some people did stand up for Todd, telling bullies to back off. But even more spread rumours around her.
“She was sweet, when she wasn’t thinking about her bullies, she was so happy and full of life and energy,” Tenebein said of the avid singer.
Todd posted a nine-minute YouTube video in September detailing how she’d been endlessly bullied, including being beaten up outside a new school, after exposing her breasts over a webcam in Grade 7. She drank bleach when she got home and was hospitalized.
But for a short time at least, releasing the tension through the video worked, Brown said.
“She felt good because she got her story out there and people knew who she was,” he said. “(But) as days went by, it started to get worse because people were giving hate comments to the video.”
An RCMP investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death continues.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark tweeted she is planning an anti-bullying summit in Vancouver for parents, educators and experts on Nov. 13.