Tragedy shouldn’t be pushed aside with kid gloves

It’s a classic instance of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.

It’s a classic instance of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.

The B.C. Ministry of Education’s advice that teachers not to show the Amanda Todd video in class, well-intentioned as it may be, ignores realities of modern-day life that contributed to the untimely death of the Port Coquitlam teenager.

The fact is that more than 20 million people have already viewed the YouTube video in which Todd, 15, detailed the bullying which is believed to have led to her suicide on Oct. 10.

While the tragedy has occasioned hand-wringing op-ed pieces galore, what has been missing for most students is relevant discussion in the one forum where they supposedly receive an education to prepare them for the real world.

It’s possible that Todd’s plight, which began with an unwise posting online – and was exacerbated by cyber-bullying, physical abuse and blackmail – could provide some hard but necessary life lessons for teens. It could give immediacy to discussions of what constitutes bullying, and why it should be unacceptable.

Instead, the ministry’s suggestion for dealing with a viral video comes across as ineffective vaccine. What educational opportunities are lost by directing parents and young people – many of whom have probably seen the Todd video already – to anti-bullying websites employing non-specific examples to discuss the issues?

The Oct. 14 memo from the ministry to school boards speaks of concerns that showing the video might increase the risk of suicidal behaviour among students who identify with Todd’s story. Clearly there is a need for sensitivity – a reluctance to inspire imitative incidents, as well as a desire to respect privacy of families involved. But in creating her video and posting it online, Amanda Todd clearly sought to make her situation public. She exposed a tragic problem, and provoked discussion that could prevent other, similar tragedies from occurring.

Perhaps it’s time we addressed some of the causative issues of such suicides, rather than letting our sensitivities sweep them under the rug.

-Peace Arch News


Just Posted

Vancouver artist rocks to fight opioid crisis

Jeremy Allingham is set to bring his guitar-focused rock ‘n roll to Kelowna April 6, Vernon June 9

Update: Driver of minivan suffers non life-threatening injuries

The accident took place at approximately 1 p.m.

Tracing their family tree

Sisters searching for Summerland connection

City warms to solar power

New Shuswap solar society receives enthusiastic response to alternative form of energy.

Armed robbers use fake police lights to pull over victims

Information wanted on North Shuswap robbery, police impersonation, burnt vehicle, motorhome theft.

Crook’s Corner

Arts and entertainment highlights this week across the Okanagan

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Kelowna celebrates World Down Syndrome Day

More than 50 people gathered in Kelowna to bring awareness to diversity and difference

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Shots fired in Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP are investigating a report of shots fired and a possible explosion at a trailer court

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to Canadian teen

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with an online threat against a high school

Most Read