The Sextortion of Amanda Todd: Was There More to Uncover? Yes, I think so…

I decided to reflect on the Fifth Estate’s video documentary, The Sextortion of Amanada Todd. Since the tragedy, the name Amanda Todd has become significant in the areas of cyber-bullying and suicide.

This was a devastating, sad story. This story definitely touched my heart that I even cried. As a mother, I can’t imagine what it must have felt to have gone through this tragic experience, totally unbearable.

There was more information to uncover besides cyber-bullying. At the beginning of the interview, it was mentioned that Amanda was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Discorder (ADHD) and that she was bullied offline before she had webcam.

Photo Credit: mararie via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: mararie via Compfight cc

As a parent, this video allowed me to reflect on my own life. It got me thinking a lot about the importance of communicating more with my children and knowing what they are doing when they are on the internet. Most importantly, I need to continue to model positive digital citizenship.

Photo Credit: ransomtech via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: ransomtech via Compfight cc

I totally agree with Genna Rodriguez that we shouldn’t only talk, but walk the talk in terms of modeling positive digital citizenship. I too agree with Genna that laptops/computers should be placed in public areas in the home. Amanda’s online life was definitely too private in her room.

As a parent, I feel I need to communicate even more with my oldest child who is thirteen years old and have more conversations about what he does when he is online, etc.

Photo Credit: sean dreilinger via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: sean dreilinger via Compfight cc

After taking this course, I have learned that parental involvement and education is an important piece of digital citizenship. As parents, we need information to help us understand what our kids are doing online and how to manage their digital media etc.

I like this video as it reinforce getting parents involved in Digital Citizenship. In this video, you will hear about how a district shared their parent education materials as a means of reaching out to parents. I believe that as parents, we are our children’s first educators.

After watching the Amanda Todd documentary, I had many questions. I wondered why Amanda’s parents did not get involved when they first found out right away? From watching the video, It was obvious that Amanda’s parents, Norm and Carol did not know how to manage their daughter’s digital media. Was it because they did not know how to approach the situation? Why didn’t the RCMP take this matter seriously the first and second time when Carol reported the incident?

Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds via Compfight cc

After watching the video, I felt like the parents and RCMP could have been more proactive before the incident went further.

As a parent, it’s our responsibility to take care of our kids and to keep them safe. Children in the 21st century are spending most of their time online, so, therefore, as parents, we need to do a better job of monitoring and managing our children’s online world.

I came across Prezi presentation on Parental Involvement in Digital Media by Adam Knutsen. I like the content in the presentation as it helps to bridge the gap between teachers and parents. It gives you great ideas as to how teachers and parents can work together to support the child while learning about digital citizenship.

I think the family media agreement section is a great idea to implement within your home as it allows for parents to begin setting expectations with their children around safety and responsible use. I love the video that was presented in the presentation. Teachers, parents and staff at Randall Elementary School in Milpitas, CA worked together and implemented digital citizenship by involving parents. This is a great example of a school taking on this whole-community approach.

The Sextortion of Amanda Todd got me thinking what we can do to better support those children who are more vulnerable especially those with disabilities and mental health issues so that they are able to develop positive digital citizenship skills. With that being said, they also need to feel confident while being online.


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