Lawmakers in Canada are considering a bullying prevention strategy in the House of Commons today, following the bullying-related suicide of Amanda Todd, on Wednesday.
Todd was found dead in her home in Port Coquitlam, after publishing a video on YouTube titled My Story: Struggling, bullying, suicide and self-harm, 5 weeks before. She had described her experience with cyber-bullying, by writing about the events on cards and holding them up to the camera.
Amanda had been tricked into taking her clothes off on webcam, by an unknown man who then went on to publish them on Facebook, creating a fake account in her name. Changing schools, getting beaten up by classmates and a suicide attempt followed for the teen, before she have up the fight and finally took her own life.
NDP MP Dany Morin is set to put forward a motion to prevent bullying in the future, with no national bullying prevention strategy existing in Canada at this point, CTV News
In response to B.C. Premier Christy Clark's proposal to criminalize bullying in Canada, Morin suggests charging the bullies is not the answer. Morin proposes prevention, and not persecution of bullies.
“I was bullied as a teenager. […] I know firsthand what bullying really is like. But when the harm has been done, when a kid has been bullied for years, bringing the criminal charges to the bully will not solve the problem. The harm has been done. That’s why I want the special committee to focus on prevention,” he said on Sunday.
Ottawa city councilor Allan Hubley has also lost a son to bullying-related suicide in 2011. He asks for lawmakers to stop putting together studies on the issue and enforce legal measures to stop bullying.
“We have a definition of bullying. We already know a lot of the resources that can help bullying. But the frontline resources that will help these kids when they need it most, at that moment they’re about to make that decision, they are underfunded. That’s where we need to put our energies and our efforts,” he advocates.