Todd Loik loved shop class and dreamed of becoming a welder. He was looking forward to taking his driver’s licence test on Sept 20, his 16th birthday.
He didn’t live to turn sweet sixsixsixteen, but his loved ones came together to honour him, lighting 16 candles and singing “Happy Birthday."
“The pain in my heart has not stopped aching. But for my baby I will celebrate,” Todd’s mother, Kim Loik, wrote on her son’s Facebook tribute page.
“It was usually at night when it would happen. There was no peace,” Kim told the National Post of her son’s “torment.” The teen was bullied in school and online over his perceived sexuality.
“I told him to go to bed and not worry about it,” the single mother sobbed.
He couldn’t. The next morning she woke to find him dead in their North Battleford, Saskatchewan, home. He had committed suicide.
Kim Loik was contacted by the mother of Amanda Todd, the British Columbia teen who killed herself earlier this year, leaving behind a YouTube video about her own bullying.
Loik says Carol Todd connected her to a group that was able to dig into her son’s cyber and phone files.
“They were the nastiest things I’ve ever heard,” Loik says of the pages of hate-filled comments that were uncovered, most of which she hasn’t been able to bring herself to read. “I can’t even repeat — some of the things were just disgusting.”
Todd Loik was in Grade 10 at North Battleford Comprehensive High School. Shannon Lessard, a spokesperson for the Living School Division, says the school was unaware of the bullying because it wasn’t reported.
Kim Loik wants justice for her son and is lobbying for criminal charges to be brought against his bullies.
The RCMP are looking into whether bullying played a role in the death. Sergeant Neil Tremblay says officers are in the process of acquiring the legal right to access Todd’s online and phone messages.
“He had a little bit of peace” before his death, Loik says, about a camping trip Todd took with his cousins over his summer break.
May it be with him now.