Bullying: The Amanda Todd Story

by Emily Stokes and Sarah Mastrocola

Amanda Todd was a fifteen year old teenager who cried out for help by posting a viral video on YouTube. Using index cards, she told her story of mistakes and misfortune — a life that resulted in years of being bullied which drove her into the bowels of depression. A month after the video was posted, Amanda committed suicide.  With her video as testament to her life, its true value, and the perils of bullying in school — Amanda’s story lives on in her wake as a reminder of how precious life is and how dangerous bullying in schools can be.

Bullying is very prominent in schools today. Many stories have come out about suicides being driven by bullying: as a student, this is both scary and devastating. Many of our teachers, counselors, and elders quote the meaningful aphorism of “don’t use a permanent decision for a temporary situation.” Now, to support this mindset, schools are putting greater anti-bullying efforts into effect.  They are attempting to limit the amount of students who have been affected by bullying.

Glen Rock High School has joined the anti-bullying coalition. Administration has taken steps to crackdown on any behavior that may injure (whether physically or emotionally) another student by following the “HIB” policy — harassment, intimidation, and bullying. A Glen Rock student will be written up if there is any question regarding bullying, and a thorough investigation will ensue. Some students believe the process to be “unnecessary” but, for students like Amanda Todd, the HIB policy is needed to ensure that a student’s life is not put on the line because of other students’ actions.

Instances have already happened in Glen Rock that have initiated the HIB policy. The precedent set by these incidents should  make students more aware of bullying. Knowledge of the impact that bullying can have on a person should be more well-known as such devastating instances, such as the recent Amanda Todd circumstance, have arose in our society.  It is important for all students to feel safe and accepted in our schools rather than belittled and disrespected. The HIB policy is present  for the schools that wish to protect their students, just as students should wish to protect their peers.