The family of a 13-year-old Ohio Chinese American girl says she was continually assaulted, bullied and harassed online by white students before she took her own life, according to a new lawsuit.
Family of girl who killed herself sues school
The family of Emilie Olsen has filed a federal wrongful lawsuit against he Fairfield City School District, claiming that school officials knew about the constant bullying, but did not do enough to stop it.
"Emilie and her parents tried to end the bullying and repeatedly pleaded with certain defendants to help," according to the lawsuit. "Defendants failed to stop the bullying, and it continued."
Emilie fatally shot herself in the head on December 11, 2014.
The 82-page lawsuit alleges that Emilie was bullied for the better part of three school years, outlining many disturbing incidents of harassment -- including instances where Emilie was targeted because she was Asian.
The lawsuit alleges Emilie was bullied for the better part of three school years because of her association with a group of white students who wore camouflage and were considered "country" by other students. Emilie, of Chinese descent, was adopted when she was nine months old.
"Chinese people don't wear camo," one student told her.
On a separate occasion, a group of students pushed her into a locker, saying, "Asians shouldn't wear camo and boots."
Before starting seventh grade, Emilie told her parents she was scared to go back to school because her class schedule grouped her with several students who picked on her in previous years.
In sixth grade, one of those students allegedly followed Emilie into the bathroom, handed her a razor and told her to "end her life."
Before she did, she told her parents she wanted to dye her hair as an attempt to conceal her ethnicity.
"Why can't I be white like you and mom?" she asked her father.
As a result of the ongoing harassment, Emilie "suffered severe anguish, distress and depression," according to the lawsuit. School officials, however, continuie to deny that they did not do enough to stop the abuse.
Several hundred people attended a candlelight vigil for Emilie after the lawsuit was filed in federal court Friday.
Emilie Olsen: Parents of Fairfield middle schooler file federal lawsuit citing bullying in suicide