Community fears bullying contributed to girl’s suicide

(WISH Photo)

RUSHVILLE, In. (WISH ) — The communities of Rushville and Milroy are in mourning after the death of an eighth grade girl.

According to the Rush County Sheriff Office, the 14-year-old died of an apparent suicide.

24-Hour News 8 was contacted by some in that area who think that bullying contributed.

The Rush County Schools Superintendent Matt Vance issued a statement on behalf of the middle school where she attended.

He said, “We have been asked by a few individuals outside of our school district if ‘bullying’ may have been a factor in this unfortunate event. To best of our knowledge, school officials had no knowledge of any bullying complaints by this student.”

Some people in the community aren’t so sure.¬†Autumn Gomez’s nephew knew the girl.

“They’d talk on the phone they’d text all the time and I mean he knew that she was being bullied. He protected her as much as he could in school,” Gomez said.

She said she’s heard that the students often don’t report incidents of bullying.

“I can’t understand why, why not go to somebody? Why not talk to somebody? Why not go to your principal? she said.

The Rush School District has a policy prohibiting bullying.

It states that includes acts meant to “harm the targeted student and create for the targeted student an objectively hostile school environment.”

But Gomez thinks the kids feel that anti-bullying measures are not strong enough.

“Why even try to go to a councilor to a principal to a teacher when nothing is going to be done?” she asked.

The Rush County Sheriff Office issued a similar statement to the school on Thursday.

Deputy Chief David Sliger said, “There has been nothing in this incident shared to law enforcement or the school system about bullying. We do not have any information of nor do we have any reason to believe that bullying was involved in this tragic incident.”

One woman in Rushville wanted to do something to help those who might be in similar situations to this girl.

She started a new Facebook group called Rush to Hope to be a support group for her community.

Community members said they are planning a rally at Rushville Middle School on May 17 at 6 p.m.

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