When my two daughters came into this world, my first thoughts were about how lucky my wife and I were to have 2 beautiful, healthy amazing babies to hold and love. I also thought about the future and how I am now responsible for them. I am here to love and care for them and especially protect them.
I watched the video below that many may have seen or heard about, and couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by emotion of sadness for this young woman and her family. I also thought how horrible the actions of her tormentors were and wondered how people could act that way. I had viewed part of an episode of CSI Cyber about a girl who was being bullied and harassed online and how she wasn't able to escape.
I found myself becoming angry at those human beings, those individuals who thought it was okay to treat others this way without the thought of the consequences of their actions. I began to think about a tragedy that could have been avoided. I thought about what her parents might have done, should have done, and realized with some of interactions they had little control to prevent this. I say this in the fact that I work with teenagers who are very social and like many of us struggle to cope when not connected to others. As well as an age when you are less likely to tell your parents everything that is going on. So understanding this, I realized that her parents may have been doing everything they could think of to prevent these harmful interactions, but aside from sheltering your child away from the world, they will face some negative interaction with others. It is an unfortunate aspect of human society, at least in our highly advanced, civilized society.
As I continue to contemplate the events that led to this tragedy I wonder am I strong enough to protect my own children from the dangers of society? From the perils of online life? From predators who you can't see, don't appear at your door but get into your house just the same. Am I strong enough to both protect my children and allow them opportunity to experience life? Can we all turn Amanda's tragedy into positive change?
Please help be the change that our children need and deserve. Please take some action in your life in your role as parent, educator, friend to help this from happening to another person.
Here is the link to Amanda's Legacy site including the investigation into her cyber stalker.