Tragic news out of southwest Ohio, where a 13-year-old girl was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot. Her parents believe relentless racial bullying may have pushed her to take her own life.
Fairfield Twp. parents trying to sort out daughter's untimely death
Seventh grader Emilie Grace Olsen fatally shot herself in her bedroom Thursday. Her parents say that Emilie, who was adopted from China, was the target of racial bullying by her classmates at Fairfield Middle School. Starting in the fifth grade, Emilie was bullied with a range of verbal insults, cyber abuse and physical attacks.
However, school officials claim there is no evidence Emilie was being bullied. Her father disagrees:
Marc Olsen said his daughter was bullied in elementary school and that the abuse at school continued into the seventh grade. He strongly disputes police and school officials' contention that bullying did not lead to his daughter's suicide.
"I'm not trying to stir the pot, and I know there are a lot of rumors out there, but I'm trying to get answers," said Olsen, referring to numerous social postings by others claiming Emilie was racially bullied.
"There was a racial component to the bullying," said Olsen, who adopted his daughter from China in 2002. "There was cyber-bullying and physical bullying."
"They (school officials) cleared it up in the sixth grade, but it continued into the seventh grade. She was an A student, but she started to fail intentionally and talked about wanting to go to another school district to get away from it."
People are terrible. Bullies are terrible. And now a grieving familiy wants answers.
More here: Did racial bullying spur girl's suicide? Dad thinks so
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please know that you are not alone. There is help. Contact the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.