There are various types of bullying that are experienced by different around the world and especially young children and teenagers. Amanda Michelle Todd was a Canadian teenager who felt the full impact of bullying and unfortunately this drove her to the deep end where she could not take it anymore and took her own life on 10th of October 2012. Amanda experienced various forms of bullying the main ones being cyberbullying, physical bullying, and social-emotional bullying. She started experiencing cyberbullying while she was in grade 7 where her video chatted with different people who complimented on her look. A stranger convinced her to show off her breasts on a video chat and she fell for it not knowing what was to follow. The stranger then used the photo of her breasts to blackmail her to give him what she described as a “show.” Even with that, the stranger still circulated the photo of her bare breasts to her friends and teachers. Amanda also experienced physical bullying after she slept with an older guy who already had a girlfriend. The girlfriend together with her friends visited Amanda’s school and Amanda was punched several times. In addition, she also suffered from social-emotional bullying because she lost all her friends following the cyberbullying episodes which exposed her as a bad girl. She was emotionally depressed because she had no one to talk to and every time she thought it was over it would start all over again.
The bullying that Amanda Todd experienced had extremely negative effects on...
her. First of all she experienced severe depression, anxiety, and panic disorder because she did not know what would happen next should the stranger come back to taunt her or what the people around her would think of her (Hamm et al., 2015). As a result of this depression, Amanda began using drugs and alcohol in an attempt to try and overcome her depression and panic disorder. Secondly, Amanda lost her closest friends because no one wanted anything to do her. She had to change school now and then because every time she was bullied, she lost friends and experienced ridicule from her friends and neighbors. The only person she thought could be her friend was an old guy who already had a girlfriend. As a result of her emotional turmoil, she decided to have sex with him thinking that he liked her and that she could now have someone who cares. She never knew things would get worse. She thought engaging in sexual activity would help her. Third, she experienced low self-esteem and low self-worth because everyone close to her viewed her that way. As a result of this, she saw no purpose of living and attempted suicide (Sinyor, Schaffer, & Cheung, 2014). She drank bleach but fortunately she survived only to get more bullying. At last she could not take it anymore and she committed suicide but this time round it was successful.
There are various strategies that Amanda’s parents, teachers, and authorities could have taken in order to try and ease the effects of bullying. First of all, at the schools, the management coul
have developed programs to teach both students and teachers how to identify bullying especially children who are bullies and children who fall victims to the bullying. The teachers could teach the bullies problem-solving skills in order to ensure that the students do not get aggressive towards Amanda (Levine &Tamburrino, 2014). This could have solved things a little bit as Amanda could have found support in her school instead of the hostility she faced. In addition, her mother could have forwarded the problem to the authorities the moment she realized the extent of the damages that the bullying had done on her daughter. The cyber bully and the girl who physically abused Amanda could have been arrested and dealt with before it was too late.
During the time I attended high school, someone could bully you to do their homework or provide answers to class work but today bullying has taken the worst turn it has turned to extreme violence. Another difference is that some years ago it was hard to hear about cyber-bullying but today cyberbullies are capable of creating fake accounts and bully anonymously. However, one similarity is that bullying has negative effects on the victim and if not detected the victims would end up growing into wounded adults. Another similarity is that the people who do the bullying are mean and psychologically disturbed people.
There are various reasons that could lead to a person becoming a bully. One of the main factor is associated with family whereby a child might get bullied by the older siblings and hence transfer the same behavior to school or to the internet. In addition, a child might experience an abusive and traumatic childhood at home and therefore bully other children or people because violence and aggression have already been modeled to them (Wong, Cheng, & Chen, 2013). The other main factor is associated with personality where a person may have a low self-esteem or has difficulties relating with others. In addition, there are those people who crave for power and control and the only way they can do that is through manipulation and aggression towards others (Wong, Cheng, & Chen, 2013). One of the way to reduce bullying is through teaching people about the causes and effects of bullying and how to identify bullies as well as their victims. Another way is regulating internet activity and teaching children to avoid sharing personal information with strangers on the internet. Furthermore, parents should take care of their children and prevent abuses and also enhance their self-esteem (Ttofi& Farrington, 2012).
- ChiaVideos. (2013, October 11). Amanda Todd’s Story: Struggling, Bullying, Suicide, Self-Harm. Video File. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej7afkypUsc
- Hamm, M. P., Newton, A. S., Chisholm, A., Shulhan, J., Milne, A., Sundar, P., & … Hartling, L. (2015). Prevalence and Effect of Cyberbullying on Children and Young People: A Scoping Review of Social Media Studies. JAMA Pediatrics, 169(8), 770-777 8p. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0944
- Levine, E., , M. (2014). Bullying Among Young Children: Strategies for Prevention. Early Childhood Education Journal, 42(4), 271-278.
- Sinyor, M., Schaffer, A., & Cheung, A. H. (2014). An Observational Study of Bullying as a Contributing Factor in Youth Suicide in Toronto. Canadian Journal