Glen Canning, wrote a blog about his daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons, who hung herself because of the trauma of an alleged gang-rape by four classmates and the relentless bullying that followed. He wrote, "They say parents need to teach their children. Instead, it was Rehtaeh who was my teacher." But here's the thing: Parents do need to teach their children, and they are not doing it. Rehtaeh Parsons' death arrives on the horrific heels of the Steubenvile high-school rape case and Amanda Todd's suicide near Vancouver last fall after a sexually explicit photo led to the bullying that eventually drove her to take her own life, too. Our job is not just to feed and clothe our kids, but to shape them.
When we read about horrific acts of bullying, it is not enough to utter the mantra "What is wrong with kids today" and flip to the next page of the newspaper. We are not powerless to prevent these tragedies -- the solution starts with educating our children in a culture of compassion.
In reading about the tragic case of Amanda Todd, I was unable to find a single news source prepared to follow the evidence to its logical conclusion -- that she was the victim of male sexual violence. Here on display was the familiar and rank hypocrisy by which women are routinely sexualized and then attacked for their supposedly wanton ways. .
After the tragic suicide of Amanda Todd, there has been an outpouring of attention on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, as well as traditional media. Social media has played a huge role in Amanda's story, from her heartbreaking YouTube video confessions, to the conversations about bullying popping up all over the web since her death. Amanda's story has started the country talking about some of the real issues behind such a senseless death. Here are just some of the thoughts and reactions from a stunned nation.