13 year old bullying victim commits suicide. Should those who bullied her be held legally responsible?
Rachel Ehmke, a 13-year-old seventh grader
in Mantorville, Minn., died April 29 after hanging herself at her home.
The months leading up to the tragedy were a whirlwind of peer abuse
instances, her parents say.
Now following Rachel's Friday funeral that was met with widespread
community condolences, Rick and Mary Ehmke are speaking out against the
bullying they say their daughter endured at Kasson/Mantorville Middle
School and online.
Rachel's family and friends say the teen fell victim to school
bullying last fall when her chewing gum was stuck to her textbooks and the word "slut" was scrawled across her gym locker, the Austin Daily Herald
reports. And while she was outgoing, athletic and friendly, the same
group of girls reportedly threatened Rachel and kept calling her a
"prostitute," though she had never kissed a boy, according to KMSP.
Two days before Rachel's death, an anonymous text was sent to other students at the school, KARE reports.
"It was pretty explicit.
Something to the effect of that Rachel was a slut and to get her to
leave the Kasson-Mantorville School, forward this to everyone you know,"
parent Chris Flannery told the station.
But after the text was reported to authorities, it was traced to someone who wasn't a student at the school,
according to Minnesota Public Radio. The district's bullying policy
prohibits threats both in person and online, and promises investigations
within 24 hours of any reported bullying.
Rachel reportedly pleaded with her father not to mention the bullying
to school officials, for fear of worsening the situation. A note that
her parents found after her death read, "I'm fine = I wish I could tell
you how I really feel," alongside a picture of a broken heart, according
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