Note: Audio from today’s Chapel is included below. Please note the non-talking from 1:44-2:40. Also, the end of the audio has a time of prayer and music. You can play the talk directly here, or download it below.
Take home message from today’s Chapel (speaking to my students):
You have someone. You have someone in your life who cares.
Coquitlam, BC, is mourning the loss of 15-year-old Amanda Todd who took her life this past week. Amanda Todd’s tragic story has gripped BC, Canada, and parts of the world. In a nutshell her situation is the result of unfortunate online choices that began at age 12 that led to relentless cyber-bullying.
Since suicide and bullying are such a consequential and awful topics, I felt I needed to address them at today’s chapel with our High School. In general terms, I believe these topics are often treated with a, “it’s somewhere else; it’s someone else” attitude among students. Sad news can often be just that – news from another situation. Sorry. No. This is a precious 15-year-old life…gone forever. This could have been our city; this could have been our school; this have could have been our friend.
Important side questions for every family to discuss:
- Have you met all your Facebook friends face-to-face? IE: Are you fully sure that they are who they say they are?
- Are you aware of any and all possibly harmful or embarrassing or incriminating photos or videos that exist on your camera/cell/computer/etc.? What would happen if they ‘got out’?
- Parents, how involved are you with the texting & social media activities of your children? I encourage every parent to have every password for every program that your child uses.
For information on the Amanda Todd story I recommend this article from the Vancouver Sun. I also recommend Amanda Todd’s own YouTube video which she recorded a month before ending her life. *Warning: the final scenes of the video are very graphic and today I stopped the video on the final slide at 8:05 where she says, “My name is Amanda Todd.”
My key point in my chapel talk centers around Amanda’s statement at 8:02 in her video below:
I have nobody; I need someone 😦
When I saw this I yelled at the computer. This is the LIE that I need to dispel today at chapel. The truth is that for students listening in chapel, they all have someone, they all have somebody who cares. The audio below will walk through the fact that God loves each of us so much, that families/guardians desire to know what is happening in our lives, that the friends around us care for us deeply, and that there can be adults in our lives such as youth leaders/counsellors/family friends/teachers/etc. who wish to listen.
Here is the video:
The conclusion of my talk today was just reminding students of how much God loves each one of us. This is part one of a two-part series on this topic. Stay tuned for next week’s chapel talk.