A 14-year-old honor roll student snuck away from the gymnasium where she was taking a ISTEP test on May 6th. Braylee Rice, a middle school student at McCulloch Junior High School in Indiana, went outside to the bleachers by the track and hung herself from the rafters with a necktie she was wearing. Her body was discovered at 10:17 a.m. From the Inquisitir:
Carrie Rice, Braylee’s mother, expressing difficulty in having to do one of the hardest things ever, “ID my baby’s lifeless body.”
School administrators insisted they were unaware that Braylee was being bullied, but dozens of parents and other students have claimed otherwise, saying bullying is prevalent in the school.
Numerous messages posted on Facebook claim that not only was Braylee relentlessly bullied, on the morning she took her own life students were calling her names and pelting her with water bottles. Her sister took to Facebook to post this message:
The school did not dismiss classes on the day Braylee’s body was discovered, but they have made grief counselors available to students who need them. An anti-bullying rally is set for today and funeral services will take place for Braylee on Friday.
Reading though a few memorial pages and groups, it seems that bullying is a huge problem at this school and considering that one in seven students in grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying school administrators should start taking the issue not just at McCulloch, but at all schools more seriously. I’ve said this a million times now, but parents need to start implementing a zero tolerance policy with their children in regard to bullying, and when their kids tell them they know of someone being bullied at school they need to inform the school right away.
Enough is enough. My heart breaks for this beautiful girl and her family. How many more kids have to die before we declare this a national emergency? I hope we get more information about the circumstances in this case and I hope the students responsible for bullying this girl are disciplined. The Braylee Rice suicide is a tragedy, and the Braylee Rice suicide probably could have been prevented if adults saw the bullying taking place and stepped in and intervened. According to numerous Facebook posts, no one did this. The Braylee Rice suicide may have been compounded by the fact her sister claims she was “depressed” but the bullying didn’t do anything to help her state of mind.