Carol Todd—mother of Vancouver teenager Amanda Todd, who committed suicide one month short of her 16th birthday after years of bullying due to a topless photo she sent to a man in an online chatroom in middle school—gave an interview to the Vancouver Sun yesterday. She spoke about her daughter's suffering, the wrenching PSA Amanda made about her ordeal, and how she herself now plans to do her part to prevent this from happening to other young girls.
"Amanda was a very caring individual. She would help others who needed help. One of Amanda's goals was to get her message out there and have it used as a learning tool for others... I have lost one child, but know she wanted her story to save 1,000 more. [And] I want to tell my story to help parents, so they can be aware, so they can teach their kids what is right and wrong and how to be safe online."
Carol, a teacher in the local school district who specializes in assistive technologies, considers herself much more tech-savvy than the average parent, which only contributes to her heartbreak. Not to mention that at this point, Amanda's stalker hasn't been caught, says Carol. "The police investigated and investigated, it got traced to somebody in the United States, But they never found him. Those people are very good at hiding their tracks."
"[The last two years were] horrendous," she said. "I think about it now and I think, ‘Oh my God. How did she survive this long with the pain?'" But after Amanda spent some time receiving hospital counseling in September, she seemed to emerge happier and more prepared to return to life as usual.
"She felt like a normal teenager, she was so proud of herself. She went out with friends, she went to the mall, she said to me, ‘Mom, this is the first time that I feel normal again. I have had the best day ever.'"
She isn't sure what happened to set Amanda back. She says that her daughter did leave her a private video message on her phone, but she's not ready to see it. "The coroner has told me it will provide closure for me, but I can't look at it yet."
'Amanda Todd death: Mom speaks out about her daughter, bullying' [Vancouver Sun]