Five weeks after posting a video on YouTube about how she had been bullied and cyberbullied, Amanda Todd, 15, took her own life.
The Grade 10 student was found dead in her Port Coquitlam, B.C. home around 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Later, the school board in the district where Amanda went to school said that her death was a suicide.
The Regina Leader-Post reports Amanda joined YouTube on Sept. 6. The following day she uploaded a video entitled, "Amanda Todd: Struggling, Bullying, Suicide, Self harm." She does not speak in the video but holds up several pieces of paper with writing that appears to have been done by a black marker in front of the camera.
Amanda says when she was in Grade 7, she and her friends began using a webcam in an attempt to meet people and make friends. A year later, a boy asked her to flash her breasts. She did. At four in the morning on Christmas Eve, police went to Amanda's house and told her that the pictures had been widely distributed.
It was at this point that the young teen began experiencing depression, panic attacks and anxiety. She turned to alcohol and drugs and began cutting herself. She was forced to change schools.
But moving to a new school did little good. She was shunned and the bullying did not stop. One day, she was beaten up in front of her school by a group of teens. She went home and tried to kill herself by drinking bleach.
The bullying still did not stop. Messages were posted online saying they wished she was dead. Sometimes the message would be accompanied by a picture of bleach.
Near the end of the video, Amanda asks, "Every day I think why am I still here? I have nobody. I need somebody."
Although YouTube is willing to remove the video under the circumstances, Amanda's mother Carol does not want the video taken down. She is quoted in the Vancouver Sun as saying, "I think the video should be shared and used as an anti-bullying tool. That is what my daughter would have wanted."
The news of Amanda's death reached Christy Clark, the premier of British Columbia. Clark uploaded her own video on YouTube and after expressing her condolences to Amanda's family, friends and everyone who loved her, Clark said, "No one deserves to be bullied. No one earns it. No one asks for it. It isn't a rite of passage. Bullying has to stop. Every child, everyone needs to feel safe at school."
After her death, her friends took to social media to express their grief. The member of the cheer team at her original school was described as being funny, a prankster, and a person who appeared to be confident. Jaya Panwar, who coached her cheer team, is quoted in The Province as saying, "I absolutely adored her. She was really a sweetheart."
Amanda's death will the looked at by the B.C. Coroners Service and the circumstances of her death, including the roles that bullying and cyberbullying played, will be examined.