(CNN) - Her YouTube video started out innocently enough. The Canadian teen, her face obscured from the camera, held a stack of cards each filled with messages in black marker.
"I've decided to tell you about my never ending story," the card in Amanda Todd's hands read.
At this point the viewer may have no idea that they are about to be led on the most agonizing journey, one that pushed the premier of British Columbia to issue a stern warning against bullying, a journey that has birthed a Facebook page with thousands of people commenting many offering condolences.
In the soundless, black and white video, the teen showed one card after another. Each card painfully sinking the viewer deeper into the anguish too many teens have experienced.
"In 7th grade I would go with friends on webcam," the card in the teen's hand read.
The next few cards reveal that the teen began to get attention on the Internet from people that she did not know. People who told her she was beautiful, stunning, perfect.
"They wanted me to flash. So I did one year later," the cards said.
The teen then got a message on Facebook from a stranger who said she needed to show more of herself or he would publish the topless pictures he had taken of her.
"He knew my address, school, relatives, friends, family, names ..."
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By Robert Jeffers, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: Robert Jeffers teaches at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, and is a current Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow.
I recently attended a screening of a PBS documentary about the future of California State Parks, featuring several of my students at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles. When the applause died down, the host convened a Q&A session that included a former student of mine, now a rising senior at Williams College. Facing an intimidating crowd, this student spoke with eloquence and insight about Dorsey High School, about parks and about the important people that set him on his trajectory to success. Then he embarrassed me. He credited me – by name, and by pointing!
It takes a lot to make a successful teacher: Hard work, a generous support network and faith from colleagues and administrators all play a role. I’ve been lucky to have those things, and have seen some professional success — success that’s evident in my student growth data, their college acceptances and the outstanding hands-on projects they’ve completed.
My students have published a book of original food writing and artwork, completed award-winning films, established an on-campus recycling program recognized as one of the best in Los Angeles County and planted more than 60 trees around our inner-city campus. I’m proud of what we’ve done together.
But I would never call myself “irreplaceable.” That’s a word that has been tossed around a lot since TNTP, a teacher quality nonprofit, used it to describe top teachers in a new report, “The Irreplaceables: Understanding the Real Retention Crisis in America’s Urban Schools.”
CNN’s Schools of Thought blog is a place for parents, educators and students to learn about and discuss what's happening in education. We're curious about what's happening before kindergarten, through college and beyond. Have a story to tell? Contact us at email@example.com