South Carolina Girl Commits Suicide and Her Family Blames Bullying
An 11-year-old girl reportedly shot herself after she was bullied at school in South Carolina, her family told local media outlets this week.
Toni Rivers, the girl, shot herself with a small-caliber rifle. Deputies found the girl after Toni’s 14-year-old sister called 911 Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 1, the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to WYFF.
She was taken to Medical University of South Carolina medical center in Charleston, where she was later pronounced dead, officials said.
Her family said that she was full of life and “was so energetic,” aunt Brandy Rivers-Dixon was quoted as saying. But everything changed last week.
“She told five of her little friends that she just couldn’t do this anymore and she was going home, and she was killing herself,” Maria Petersen, Tori’s aunt, told the media outlet.
Toni Rivers was full of energy & life – that energy was taken from her when bullying became too much to handle. https://t.co/PYpnv9WaMq
— FOX 24 Charleston (@FOX24Charleston) November 3, 2017
Toni’s stepdad said the rifle belonged to her, but he told WTOC that she’d never use it without the family’s knowledge.
According to WTOC, her mom, Amy Thomas, tried to speak to school officials about the alleged bullying.
Thomas told WYFF, “My baby’s gone, but everyone’s got confidence now, you know, they can stand up to her.”
The school district superintendent wouldn’t comment on the shooting or allegations of bullying, but he instead released a statement.
“It is with heavy hearts that the Hampton One family mourns the loss of one of our students. Our sympathy and prayers go out to the family and friends affected by this tragedy. Counselors have been made available and will continue to be available to offer any needed support. Student matters are confidential and we believe it would be inappropriate to comment further on this tragic incident,” he said.