Missouri Middle School Student Killed Herself Over Bullying by Classmates, Say Parents
A 14-year-old Missouri girl reportedly killed herself after she was bullied by her middle school classmates, her parents said.
Destiny Gleason died last weekend, days after she had fought with other students at Black Hawk Middle School. She was taken away in handcuffs. After the fight, students bullied her on Facebook.
“She just wanted everybody to like her, that’s all she wanted,” her mother, Stephanie Clark, told FOX2 before she burst into tears. “Words matter. That old saying, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?’ No, they will. They will. And we lost our daughter because of words.”
She had hung herself with an extension cord last weekend, reports said.
Clark said that her classmates would do “anything they could possibly do to hurt her and bring her down.”
They once posted Destiny’s name across a sexually explicit photo, and they posted the pictures around the school.
“The words you call me are just words,” Destiny said in a video posted on Facebook after the incident. “That’s not who I really am. That’s not what I’ll ever be.”
School officials were told by the Clark family about the bullying.
“We tried to be there for her as much as possible and do everything that we possibly could,” stepfather Kurtis Clark said. “It would have been nice if somebody else would have too, instead of just saying, ‘We are going to talk to them,’ or ‘We had a talk with them’ or ‘We told them not to talk to each other.'”
He said the couple tried talking with their daughter, including homeschooling or therapy.
“We felt very helpless,” Carl told KSDK. “We talked to her and talked to her and talked to her. And just trying to get her to understand that it’s, you know, let it roll off your back. “
District Superintendent Dr. James Chandler said officials have alerted parents.
“We are aware of the possibility this was a suicide death,” Chandler said in a statement, reported the New York Daily News. “Due to student privacy rights the district cannot comment on any issues related to them. We can tell you that the Warren County R-III School District takes all bullying accusations seriously, investigates all reports of bullying and follows district policies when looking into bullying situations.”
Her family has planned a memorial in a nearby town. A GoFundMe page for Destiny was also started by a family friend.