Amanda Todd – Where were the parents?

Earlier today I was home for lunch and after my meal i was flicking through my Facebook news feed. A friend had posted a R.I.P message with a video link titled Amanda Todd. I clicked on it and began watching the video.

The first thing that caught my eye is when she mentioned that she was in 7th grade, had access to a video cam, chatted online with strangers and flashed them! Hello! Where were the parents? Why was she allowed access to a webcam and the Internet at a young age of twelve/thirteen?

I know there are predators out there and it is my job as a parent to keep my daughter safe. Where were the adults in her life? Why do people have kids if they cannot take responsibility for them, protect and nurture them? Isn’t it easier to just get a dog?

This girl’s life was snatched away from her because of the lack of adult guidance and supervision. The fact that someone took advantage of her on the internet, the fact that she was bullied because of it, the fact that she made poor decisions in her life were all a by-product of this lack of supervision.

So before painting this story to be only about internet predators or bullies, let’s dig deeper and find out why the parents or adults don’t figure anywhere in this story. Of course predators should be brought to justice and sure bullying shouldn’t happen, but people, these things happen when parents are not actively involved in the lives of their children.

For the sake of the other Amanda’s out there, we need to understand what went wrong before opportunistic predators and bullies got involved. I request parents to be more vigilant with their children’s use of the Internet. Adults have been killed by Internet predators, Amanda was only twelve.

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17 Responses to Amanda Todd – Where were the parents?

  1. dex durden says:


    • I actually considered putting a question mark, but then I am a father to an almost twelve year old girl, I asked myself if this were my own daughter who would I consider to be responsible for this tragedy? The answer was clearly MYSELF. it is up to a parent to provide guidance, safety and protection to one’s child.

      At such a young age, kids aren’t worldly wise. They cannot protect themselves from predators. And I understand a kid needs access to computers etc. but they can always be supervised. Most parents I know monitor their kids Internet access, keeping them safe.

      The Internet is a mine field for adults, let alone kids.

    • And on second thought, you are right…who am I to judge, so I will rephrase the title.

  2. Ignacio Medina says:

    Bad parenting should not overshadow the real tragedy of this story. Amanda is dead because of bullying, period!

    • I disagree vehemently. I have seen the difference firsthand between good and bad parenting. A twelve year old with a webcam and untethered access to the Internet is a recipe for disaster. Adults aren’t safe online, how can anyone let their kids traverse the Internet unsupervised? Having said that, bullying can and must be stopped at every opportunity, but unfortunately this child was setup to fall the moment she was left to her own devices in the cyber jungle to fend for herself from the predators we know lurk behind their computer screens.

  3. jon says:

    It must be awesome to be you. I hope if your kid kills themselves someone can figure out how you could have changed the course of how things played out and say it’s your fault. Kids today are under an enormous amount of social pressures. On top of that 7th grade, puberty trying to fit in and transition into a teen. Only a total dork wouldn’t care about doing some of these things or trying to impress a boy or girl and they do all of these things behind there parents backs. That’s part of becoming independent and transitioning into an adult. The bullets are to blame, hindsight is 20/20.

    • Yes, if my kid were to kill themselves forget about others, I would be beating myself up to figure out what I could have done different. How could i have provided additional guidance, love and support and protection to my child. I agree that kids are under pressure, but isn’t it up to the parents to mitigate that pressure by active parenting? Jon, are you a parent? Do you realize that most parents understand how dangerous the Internet is and usually protect their children by limiting access and supervision. You don’t give a twelve year old a webcam and Internet access. Please understand that. Had she been supervised, none of this would have come to pass. I feel sad for Amanda, I feel outraged that died. I am against the bullying and the apparent blackmail she suffered, but really, she shouldn’t have been put in that situation in the first place.

  4. Jill says:

    Really?!? The tech is in schools, at your neighbors house. Don’t be blind. Our schools clearly indicated that ALL students will have access to Internet. Did you forget that your child’s friend has a smart phone?! As a VERY PARANOID parent whom doesn’t have Internet, kids with smart phones has educated herself of the real logical situation. Before you say that her parents “wherent there”, I will warn you, after much education and training you as a patent that says to another parent “shame on you”!? Shame on you. The world is clearly different from whe you where born. Thank goodness I can see society for what it is. How about holding kids accountable and teaching them young!? As a parent to young and teens its about being real with them. Acknowledging that you k ow it all, how about really “listening” and education. I have taught my teen daughters that pictures “are forever”. Funny how that resignated with them. This story saddened them. It didnt have to happen. But tell me. Why do people wanna critisis the parenting of parents!? Do you NOT think they feel enough pain and self endured pain!?

    • Are you telling me that parents allow their kids access to a webcam and Internet at the age of thirteen? Yes, schools provide them email addresses and they are allowed Internet at school under supervision.

      My daughter has her own iPad and logs onto our home computer to do her homework, but we have safeguards in place that try to ensure that inappropriate content isn’t displayed. Kids are curious by nature and if something is inadvertently displayed to them, they will in all likelihood give in to that curiosity.

      We actively educate her in conjunction with her school, same as many other parents. I know parents who are even more conservative when granting Internet access to children.

      Grown women have been murdered by Internet predators. It is silly to allow young children unfettered access to the Internet. I can understand that Amanda’s parents must be facing anguish, but for the sake of other parents with other Amanda’s out there, it is important to understand why this happened. And if you look at Amanda’s own video, it started with a webcam at the age of twelve/thirteen. Lets not just sweep that part under the rug and just point fingers solely at opportunistic predators and bullies who are sick in the head to begin with and given an opportunity will make the most of it.

      You have educated your daughters well that they understand and are saddened by what has happened. They obviously have loving parents who are concerned enough to educate them. Not all households are that lucky and there are enough unlucky households out there.

      And this isn’t about criticizing Amanda’s parents, this is about learning from this tragedy and trying to ensure we avert the next and it is silly to say that parenting didn’t play a part.

      • Jill says:

        Apparently the reader that already comment on my post didn’t read well. I’m a police officer of a major metropolitin city, and as mother of 5 amazingly educated kids, Let me be clear. I said ur neighbors and let me also add your children’s friends and let me also add,” their parents” that we as parents contact cause its the right thing to do. Their kids are also curious. Duh!!! All kids have ways to get on the net and guess what!? Your kids know who those kids are and those kids have parents that simple dig thier head into the thought of “I’m a good parent cause I taught my child well”. You can put ever single block on your kids access as you want. But i promise you this, for ever road block you think of, remeber you where kids once. Did you ever fool tour parents? Have you ever heard of in private browsing if you have blocked Internet? Yes, go look. Your software you bought to ptotect you child doesnt work. Continue to bury your heads in the sand and think your better then any other parents because you ” educated your child”. Whatever. I see parents like you all the time. Get real. Those of you that think your immune to this tragedy are blind. Sad, but that’s what parenting is this day. I sit back and see and hear people judge parents on how and what they should have done differently. Can you really do that?! Have you sadly been in that position to look back and see what you missed. Probably not.
        I’m in no way saying we don’t learn from this, but what I’m hoping to share as a parent, an an officer of law is that we can’t sit back and judge a family of bad parenting, or censorship. Whenever a child is hurt, or senselessly perished I see the news and all these random uninvolved people that have the real “answers”. We are not god. Stop playing his part and get real.

      • Jill, I am not saying that my child is immune to this anymore than yours are. Kids will be kids. Does that diminish a parent’s responsibility?

        Ok, let me just ask you a simple question. Should a twelve year old kid be given a webcam with access to the Internet to talk to strangers online?

      • Jill says:

        I will be more direct. My children have NO access to the net. BUT, their school does and, let me also add they have cams on their laptops on their desks. Does that feel good?! Nope!! What I was trying to share without going into detail was a family. Here in Portland Oregon, they had no Internet. No Internet access at school. Their daughter went to babysit at their neighbors home. She got online when they where gone. Curious, of course!? And, after much conversation at their home, unbenonced to the parents and the neighbors, she innocently was pulled into a very smart individual sick individual. Is that the parents fault that ” their child” was curious? I don’t see it. They had no reason to password their pc. Why?! The child being babysat was two!! And the pc was on the adults room. I suppose it’s still the parents fault. Lets come up with more what ifs and done wrongs. Ignorance feels good!? Not so much. Keep thinking it will never happen to you and your child is so perfect. You will sadly and hopefully not be next.

      • Under the situation you just described…I agree a hundred percent…the parents couldn’t really do anything about it. And Amanda’s case can possibly be just the way you describe, an impossible situation. We don’t know that. Maybe I should change my reaction from assumption to inquiry.

        But look at Amanda’s video. She was proficient with the use of a webcam, she obviously had access to it. She was using one since she was twelve/thirteen by her own admission, which is the age at which she flashed.

        All I want to point out is that a kid that age shouldn’t have access to a webcam for use in a private space, which seems to have happened with Amanda.

        Anyways, as parents all we want is the well being of our kids. This tragedy was unfortunate and has touched the lives of many. It would be nice if parents would takeaway something from this tragedy and prevent another one.

        I am not saying for a moment that my parenting style is the best or my kid is the greatest. We all will make mistakes and learn, but this tragedy is only being painted in one color, and I would very much like to know how/why she had private access to a webcam at such an impressionable age.

      • Jill says:

        I agree in the webcam comment in regards to access. The news though, paints a very colorful picture. It was funny you mentioned about the cards. When I got home from work tonight I brought my two teen daughters, 13 and 15 to the iPad to see this video of Amanda. Before I even began the video, my 13 year old quickly remarks “she did it on cards mom!?”. Wow!!! So as a parent and well, I thought very well educated public figure was schooled at my dinner table. This is a fad. She proceeded, this is what all the kids do. It’s for fun. Hmm, certainly that provoked a more in depth conversation. What she was saying was a little more innocent after what she saw. These flashing of cards is common among teens. A mode of self expression. Apparently they do it in drama too!!! ( I will be checking this out). She after watching the video was clearly upset. Glad for that, glad that she saw it was a very bad situation. I’m glad she felt compassion and sadness. Im glad I got to see another mode of “trend”. A simple sad video sparked a conversation, one that is surely going around the dinner table, or should I say remote?!
        Whatever the reason, the real sadness is a young child missed out on a chance of a potentially great life, one that we as adults look back on and say to our own children as a form of parenting and education thinking its the right and best thing to do….. “I was so dumb, I thought life was so bad and hard”. I can’t say much more.

        I don’t believe suicide is ok. I don’t believe you are at peace cause god clearly says you are not to take your own life. But because she was a child, I wonder if she will be spared because she was never taught gods word? I pray for her. She was beautiful and clearly needed support.

  5. Gerald says:

    Hmm…. I do agree with theuntoldtheunsaid but not all the way

  6. Julie says:

    If she had such a horrible experience in 7th grade and it made such an impact in her live, why in the world would her parents allow her to have internet/compute access after that? There is no way to participate in online bullying unless you are online. How would the stalker find her new friends after she moved unless she was online? To say the parents are not 100% responsible is foolish. I have a 12 year old and an 11 year old. i watch their internet access like a hawk. And teaching kids morals also helps. Problem is, kids are too worldly these days… Again, the parents are at fault for that.

    • Just like a parent would never leave a child unattended in the streets of say, New York City, children should not be left unsupervised with access to Internet. The Internet is dangerous enough for adults, how can parents expect impressionable twelve year olds handle it?

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