Amanda Todd’s death prompts father of teen who committed suicide in 2010 to speak out

The very public suicide of Amanda Todd after years of being tormented at school and in cyberspace is prompting the family of another B.C. teen to speak out about how bullying led to their son killing himself.

Fifteen-year-old Ashkan Sultani hanged himself in January 2010 in the backyard of his family's home near Nanaimo, B.C., after being bullied for years, apparently because of his learning disability.

Worldwide publicity about the death of Amanda Todd of Coquitlam, B.C., caused by the heart-rending YouTube video she posted pleading for an end to her bullying (viewed almost three million times) moved Sultani's father to demand school authorities do more than tweak existing anti-bullying policies.

[Related: Amanda Todd was not internet obsessed, mother says]

"Just changing policies isn't enough," a still-grieving Nader Sultani told the Globe and Mail.

"You can have all the tools, all the policies, but if your heart is not behind what you are doing, then you are not doing justice to your job."

A coroner's report into Ashkan Sultani's death, released just last week, said schools should do a better job of communicating about bullied students when they transfer from school to school, as happened both with Sultani and Todd.

The Nanaimo Daily News reported Sultani was bullied at his elementary school and two Nanaimo high schools but the problem was not relayed when he moved.

"It does not appear that it was shared that he was being bullied or what some of the previous issues had been" when Ashkan transferred schools, coroner Adele Lambert wrote in her report, the Daily News said.

Days before his suicide, the Sultanis were told Ashkan would not receive a full diploma but only a completion certificate.

"The family had not been aware of this previously and Ashkan was disappointed that he would not be graduating with his peers," Lambert wrote.

Sultani's death lead the local school district to conduct a policy review and make changes but there is no provincial policy on sharing information when students transfer.

"That's what the provincial policy review committee will be looking at and part and parcel of what the advisory committee will be looking at," Education Ministry spokesman Scott Sutherland told the Daily News.

The review will include school-to-school transfers and also moves between school districts, he said, adding the policy will have to be formulated not to violate existing privacy rules.

Nader Sultani said school officials too often become defensive when parents complain about their child being bullied.

"They don't want to admit there's a problem," he told the Globe. "Or, the first thing they do is try to find out what is wrong with the the person getting bullied. How come he doesn't fit in?"

Sultani said Amanda Todd's suicide pushed him back into depression over the loss of his son.

"It brought back all the memories, all the pain," he said. "It took me back, and I realized this is an ongoing thing. There are no easy solutions."