Bullying: the Amanda Todd story

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Amanda Todd was subjected to both cyber-bullying that includes verbal abuses and physical harassment. In the first case, the bully sent messages demanding her to put on a show. Failing to comply, then the bully promised to send the pictures that she had flashed on the webcam to friends, and family members to taint her image. The bully used information technology to harass Amanda repeatedly (Lau, 2012). On the Facebook page, the bully posted messages that were taunting and threatened to Amanda. Physical bullying involved the punches from the girlfriend of the older person Amanda had hooked up with when she thought that he loved her.  In support of the bullies, the other schoolmates mocked her and labeled her names.

Owing to bullying, Amanda panicked, became anxious, depressed and lost friends. Due to the lack of friends and support from everyone she thought would help her regain confidence and get out of depression.  She started using drugs and alcohol, drinking bleach and cutting. Involving in these activities was dangerous because she was only a teenage. Since the bullying had extended from cyberbullying to physical abuse by his friends and schoolmates, she ended up changing schools (Lau, 2012). After intense pressure and intimidation, Amanda succumbed to the stress, and committed suicide. The death of Amanda Todd was the other consequence associated with the continued bullying she experienced.

Notably, people would have used several strategies to reduce bullying for Amanda and even prevent her from committing suicide. In the case of cyberbullying, Amanda was a minor, and therefore, her parents should have monitored her use of the internet. Secondly, after the bully threatened Amanda, the parents would have pressed charges and left the matter to the authorities to track down the perpetrator. In this way, the perpetrator would have stopped harassing Amanda, thus saving her life. The last strategy that was worth employing in this case to save Amanda should have been receiving support from his teachers and school management. Amanda was lonely, and teachers ought to make observations especially when their students are detached (Evans, Fraser & Cotter, 2014). Therefore, Amanda would have received support and counseling while taking action on the individuals that were bullying her.

The comparison between the bullying cases in high school and today’s bullying indicates that there are similarities in the two stances. High school bullying cases result in dropping out of school. Similar to dropping out of school, any bullying makes the victims to be detached and drop out of the institutions in which they study including leaving their places of work (Mitsopoulou & Giovazolias, 2015). The second similarity is that in both cases, the victims are likely to develop depressions and start abusing drugs and alcohol. Students would abuse drugs, alcohol and start cutting similar to other adults who experience bullying in today’s world with the aim of forgetting their troubles. Apparently, differences are existing between the two cases. One noticeable difference is the fact that cyberbullying is one of the most recent forms, which is rampant compared to physical, and verbal forms that existed in high school (Mitsopoulou & Giovazolias, 2015). Many cases of bullying today are likely to result in loss of lives whereby the victims decide to commit suicide whereas, in high school, the students would have poor academic performance as the primary consequence.

Bullying behaviors in high school were motivated by the environmental and social factors. Exposing students to physical violence in the media through watching movies and other videos, they are likely to resort to aggression when they need something done for them (Evans, Fraser & Cotter, 2014). The aggressors in this case resort to harassing their junior students as well as those that they are stronger than within their environment. Social factors instigate bullying too. Children from families have parents who might be engaging in domestic violence. The parental problems make them believe that they can only resort to bullying as a means of attracting attention and recognition. The prevention of bullying can be executed to satisfaction by advising teachers to address behaviors and avoid labeling the students. In the second instance, the programs should help the individuals to understand bullying and the channels of reporting and address any of the instances. Through these prevention programs, authorities in society should practice to reward positive behaviors and counsel those with negative behavior.

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  1. Evans, C. B., Fraser, M. W., & Cotter, K. L. (2014). The effectiveness of school-based bullying prevention programs: A systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior19(5), 532-544.
  2. Lau, A. (2012, Dec 11). Amanda Todd: Bullied Teen Commits Suicide. The Huffington Post B.C. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca
  3. Mitsopoulou, E., & Giovazolias, T. (2015). Personality traits, empathy and bullying behavior: A meta-analytic approach. Aggression and violent behavior21, 61-72.
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