Canada
Amanda Todd's mom suggests exclusion from anti-bullying summit was bullying

Images of Amanda Todd.

Credits: Screengrab

TYLER ORTON | QMI AGENCY

VANCOUVER -- Amanda Todd’s mother, upset at being barred from an anti-bullying summit organized by the province, is suggesting the exclusion was a bullying tactic.

Carol Todd, whose daughter took her own life last month following years of intense abuse from peers and an online stalker, expressed dismay on Twitter she wasn’t allowed to sit in at Tuesday’s ERASE Bullying conference.

“They thought my presence might upset some of the students present. That’s the perception I got,” she tweeted after the summit. “It is a shame that I was excluded ... is that (a) form of bullying?”

Education Minister Don McRae said anti-bullying experts advised his ministry against inviting Carol Todd to the conference, explaining students there might be in a “fragile state” and could harm themselves if the topic was brought up.

“The risk for unintended consequence was there,” he said. “As minister of education and as a parent, I just couldn’t live with myself if there was unintended consequences.”

McRae added he spoke to Carol Todd about the summit Wednesday morning and the ministry would brief her further early next week.

But Kevin Cameron, one of the experts who advised the government in the lead up to the summit, said he did not tell the Ministry of Education to keep the Port Coquitlam, B.C., mother from attending.

“The counsel was to explain to her some of the dynamics and see where she was at in relation to participating,” he said, adding summit organizers would have accommodated Carol Todd if she had been adamant about attending.

Cameron said he understood Carol Todd was content with a family representative going in her place.

He said in his experience, parents of children who have committed suicide go through emotional “peaks and valleys” and frequently waver in their desire to attend such events.

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