“DEATH” via Suicidal Bullying

1238798_740045456012921_1905529052_nKim Loik says she told her 15-year-old son Todd to ignore the bullies and the constant barrage of insults they were sending to him on Facebook and through texts on his cellphone. On the night of Sept. 8, 2013 he received another taunt, she said. โ€œI told him to go to bed and not worry about it,โ€ his mom recalled Wednesday, through sniffles and sobs. The next morning, Sept 9, 2013 she found her son dead in their home in North Battleford, northwest of Saskatoon. He had killed himself. RCMP are looking into whether bullying played a role in the death. Sgt. Neil Tremblay said the investigation is in the early stages and officers are trying to get the required legal authorization for access to the boyโ€™s online and phone messages. download (1)Loik said she has spoken with the mother of 15-year-old Amanda Todd, who committed suicide in British Columbia last year. The girl had posted a heart-wrenching video online about the relentless bullying she experienced, and her subsequent death sparked a nationwide anti-bullying effort. Loik said Carol Todd linked her with a private group that was able to dig into her sonโ€™s cyber and phone files. โ€œThey have pages and pages of taunts and abuse.โ€ She said her son wouldn’t let her read his Facebook page and he only shared a few of the messages he received. Loik canโ€™t bring herself to read the pages of insults but, from what she does know, theyโ€™re vile. โ€œThey were the nastiest things I’ve ever heard. I canโ€™t even repeat โ€” some of the things were just disgusting.โ€ Loik said sheโ€™s unsure why her son was the subject of such torment. He was just a normal kid who wanted to fit in. He loved shop class and talked about becoming a welder. He was excited about taking his driverโ€™s test on his 16th birthday, Sept. 20. And he had showed his mom pictures of his favorite car he hoped to drive someday, 1239407_739517676065699_1885959042_n According to a video posted to Facebook, a group of more than 10 of Toddโ€™s friends and family gathered on Sept. 20 โ€” the day that would have been his sixteenth birthday. โ€œHereโ€™s to you, bud,โ€ a man is heard saying in the video. The group lit 16 candles and sang Happy Birthday. โ€œThe pain in my heart has not stopped aching. But for my baby I will celebrate,โ€ Ms. Loik wrote on a Facebook tribute page The single mom said the bullying started in the schoolyard five years ago, shortly after she moved with her only child from Edmonton. As her son got older, the insults came through his computer and phone. โ€œIt was usually at night when it would happen. There was no peace.โ€
She said her son didn’t want her to get involved or call his school; it would only make things worse. The harassment continued through the summer, said Loik. She sent her son with his cousins to go camping for a week in the Rocky Mountains near Jasper, Alta.1239551_738632839487516_819350462_n โ€œHe had a little bit of peace and came home and he was smiling and happy.โ€ Loik said they had decided to move back to Edmonton so he could have a fresh start. They were packing and house-hunting and he was looking forward to the move later this fall, she said. He was a week into Grade 10 at North Battleford Comprehensive High School when he died. Shannon Lessard, a spokeswoman with the Living Sky School Division, said school officials are just now hearing about the bullying and itโ€™s unfortunate Loik or his mom didnโ€™t report it. Bullying can be reported anonymously, she said. Loik said she wants justice. For her that includes criminal charges against the bullies who tormented her child, as well as a move by Ottawa to enact federal anti-bullying legislation. Earlier this week, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall sent Loik an email offering his condolences, and commending her desire to help protect other teens from cyberbullying. He told reporters Wednesday that the province is looking at anti-bullying initiatives. โ€œFirst of all, what a gesture from the family to be dealing with this loss and to be thinking then how can they somehow make this tragic loss a benefit, a legacy for others,โ€ Wall told reporters in Regina. images (1)The province may also launch a website โ€” similar to one run by the Ministry of Education in B.C. โ€” that teens can use to report bullying. โ€œIn talking to Premier Clark, this is being utilized, this online reporting is being used and authorities, teachers and principals and those in authority are able to act,โ€ Wall said. Chris Purdy, Canadian Press | 25/09/13

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