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A 5th grader at London, OH elementary hanged herself Saturday

11-year-old London girl commits suicide

The Columbus Dispatch Monday January 28, 2013 3:34 PM

 

Counselors and a crisis team are in London Elementary School today to help students and employees deal with the news that an 11-year-old student killed herself at home over the weekend.

London Police Chief David Wiseman said Hailey Petee, who was in the fifth grade, hanged herself in her bedroom overnight Saturday. Police were called to the family’s London home on Walnut Street at 12:17 a.m. Sunday.

Wiseman, who is part of the county’s suicide-prevention coalition, said it’s been a difficult weekend for everyone involved.

London Schools Superintendant Thomas Ben said counselors will stay on hand as long as necessary.

“It’s a terribly sad day,” he said.

Hailey’s parents, Melinda Groce and David Petee, said this afternoon that their daughter has been teased and bullied by neighborhood kids for months. They are putting out a call to action for it to stop.

Hailey, her dad said, has always worn glasses, the lenses so thick they distorted the look of her eyes. And she’s always been loud, outspoken, hyper — she took medication for her attention-deficit disorder — and other kids teased her because of it.

“She didn’t want people to make fun of her,” Petee said. “She just wanted to be like everybody else.”

Wiseman said today that in October, the police department charged a London woman who lives in the neighborhood and has a young daughter about Hailey’s age with telephone harassment and disorderly conduct in connection with causing Hailey and the Petee family some trouble. The disorderly conduct charge has been dropped, but the other charge is pending in Madison County Municipal Court.

But Wiseman cautioned that the police department will continue to investigate Hailey’s suicide and that no connection has yet been made.

For youth between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third-leading cause of death, resulting in about 4,600 deaths per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last year in Franklin County, Coroner Jan Gorniak sounded the alarm when she saw what she said was a disturbing trend: her office investigated nine suicides where the person was under the age of 18. That’s more than the previous four years combined.

Gorniak said in an interview with The Dispatch in December that she would like to see school districts do a better job of identifying youth at risk for suicide and getting them help.

“There are all these counselors at the schools after this happens,” she said. “But where were they before?”

Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts can contact a 24-hour suicide-prevention hot line at 614-221-5445.

by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Replies (11-20):
Arroree
by Ruby Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 5:34 AM
3 moms liked this


Sadly there is a large number of parents who think kids need to just "stop being a pansy" and toughen up and "take it like a man" etc.  My own mother who thought she was more open minded than most told me as a kid that i needed to "stop having a self pity trip and get over it" when i had a mental breakdown over bullying. This sort of attitude is more common in parents of boys but also seen in parents of girls.

Then there's the attitude so many have that "it's not all bullying, some is just harmless teasing" and i hate that i have to actually point out that while something may seem like harmless teasing to you as an adult, to a child/teen it can feel like the end of the world and help to destroy them mentally. Blowing off a child/teens feelings because you as an adult don't find it that big of a deal is destructive to their mental state.

Quoting terpmama:

How are the schools supposed to I'd the kids at risk when their parents can't... It doesn't say anything about the parents seeking counseling for her, but the school is supposed to?



candlegal
by Judy on Jan. 29, 2013 at 5:40 AM
1 mom liked this

How sad and tragic that it came to that.

AllofFive19
by Bronze Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:37 AM

So sad.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:52 AM
2 moms liked this
Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

Hailey, her dad said, has always worn glasses, the lenses so thick they distorted the look of her eyes. And she’s always been loud, outspoken, hyper — she took medication for her attention-deficit disorder — and other kids teased her because of it.

“She didn’t want people to make fun of her,” Petee said. “She just wanted to be like everybody else.”

[...]

Gorniak said in an interview with The Dispatch in December that she would like to see school districts do a better job of identifying youth at risk for suicide and getting them help.

I'd like to see parents empowered.

I'd like to see a charter for the bullied, an actual right, acknowledge by all school districts.

A parent, who knows their child is being bullied, need to know that they CAN ALWAYS go to the school and be heard, and that there is a written effective procedure that WILL be followed when they raise a concern.  This right to report and get action taken needs to be codified and publicised.

dawnie1
by Bronze Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 8:59 AM

This is why I homeschool my oldest son. He has ALWAYS been a target for bullying behavior because of his looks and behavior. There is only so much the school can do. He is a much happier kid now and while money is very tight this is what is working for us.

free1
by ~FreeSpirit~ on Jan. 29, 2013 at 10:05 AM
1 mom liked this

 This story is so sad.  I couldn't read the article all the way thru (I got kinda sad & pissed to think a child (11 years old ) would take her life because she was being bullied).  If only someone was there to really help her get through the situation that she was in.  Why do kids/people bully?  They have issues in their own lives.   Bullies are losers.  Parents should always take up for their kids, if they're being teased or bullied.  They should go to the schools talk to the principal, teachers.  If need be, go higher up, talk to the people on the Board of Education (or higher).   Be an advocate for your kid(s) and for all the kids who are targets for the bullies.  I would be ready to kick some a*s for my child (if need be) KWIM?  Excessive bullying needs to be stopped.    'Rant over.'

Euphoric
by Thumper kid spanks on Jan. 29, 2013 at 10:41 AM

 How awful. :(

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I heard the story on a news channel I was listening to. When I did a web search I found 100's of similar stories. :shakes head: ugh

Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 10:48 AM
1 mom liked this
I live a little further away but I've been to London. I'm disgusted and disturbed by this sad news. I hope the bullies involved are prosecuted.

Quoting amberklo:

I live 30mims away from this.How come no one spoke out?This makes me so angry.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Hatred4none
by New Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Bullying is a result of bad parenting or bad influence in a child's life, which results in that child utilizing their life skills by bullying someone else. For schools, if its a trend they are seeing then they need to become more proactive. Create an environment that allows different groups of children (age, background, style) work together and help each other. For example in community service; soup kitchens, restore habitat for humanity, planting trees, etc. make it mandatory. Right now they are in an environment where the main focus is supposed to be their own studies, not a very give and take but more of an individualistic environment. They could work it in so its a quarterly thing to keep a continuity all year long. 

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