© FACEBOOK photo
Glen Canning, right, and daughter Rehtaeh Parsons
COLE HARBOUR - An anguished cri de coeur from a grieving father demands justice for the teenaged daughter he says was “disappointed to death.”
In a blistering, moving blog post, Glen Canning honours 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons’ compassion and courage and then lays blame for her suicide following an alleged gang rape and then harassment about the attack by schoolmates.
“My daughter wasn’t bullied to death, she was disappointed to death,” writes Canning under the heading “To the Justice Minister of Nova Scotia.” “Disappointed in people she thought she could trust, her school, and the police.”
Rehtaeh took her own life last week after two years of relentless persecution, sparked by the viral distribution of a photo taken during the alleged rape.
Her mother’s Facebook plea for change and awareness catapulted the story onto front pages and TV screens everywhere, making Nova Scotia a world-wide top trend on Twitter and earning the Ocean Playground the nickname of “Canada’s Steubenville.”
Canning’s blog post lambastes police and school officials for not prosecuting the alleged rapists or containing the bullies.
“Why was this treated like a minor incident of bullying rather than a rape?” he writes. “Numerous people were emailed that photo. The police have that information (or at least they told us they did).”
The story has caught the attention of the hacker group Anonymous, which claims to have identified at least two of the alleged assailants. A release directed at Justice Minister Ross Landry says the names will be protected, “until it is apparent you have no intention of providing justice to Retaeh’s family.”
Parsons’ mother, Leah, said she doesn’t want anyone taking vigilante action against the teens.
“ I just think some people need to realize what their actions are on other people,” she said.
The RCMP in Halifax later issued a warning saying any vigilante action wouldn’t be tolerated.
“We are discouraging anyone from taking the law into their own hands, or in any way encouraging vigilante justice,” spokesman Cpl. Scott MacRae said in a statement.
Landry has said he’s asked senior officials to “provide options” for a review of Rehtaeh’s case.