Parents of an Hailey Petee, age 11, say that bullies drove their daughter to commit suicide. Hailey’s parents are speaking out as they hope to spare other families from the same tragedy.
Hailey was a fifth grade student at London Elementary School in London, Ohio. Her parents describe her as “bright and adventurous.” Hailey loved to sing. She was also, according to her parents, being bullied constantly.
Hailey, who wore glasses and had been diagnosed with ADHD, was singled out by other students who allegedly had been tormenting her for over a year. As reported by 10TV.com, Hailey recently expressed her feelings through artwork. On the picture she had written “Stop Bullying, Free Zone.” Hailey’s mother discuss her daughters struggle:
“She would cry every day coming home from the bus stop, every day she was crying, she didn’t want to get on the bus.
“This is not a joke. If these kids think it’s OK to do this to other kids because it’s funny to them, it’s not funny when you’re hurting another family.”
On Sunday morning, Hailey’s mother noticed that her daughter’s light was on and the door was closed. She opened the door and found her 11-year-old daughter’s lifeless body draped across her bed. It was too late.
Hailey’s parents believe bullies drove their 11-year-old daughter to commit suicide and are sharing their story in an attempt to help other parents.
As reported by San Ramon Express News, bullying has become an epidemic:
“More than a quarter of all kids have experienced bullying, and that more than 30 percent experience bullying once a month. Nationwide, 13 million kids will be bullied this year, according to the Bully Project, which was formed in the wake of a 2009 suicide of an 11-year-old in Georgia. Three million children — 160,000 every day — miss school because they’re afraid of being bullied, according to the U.S. Department of Education.”
School officials, who deny receiving any complaints that Hailey was being bullied, state that they have no tolerance for bullying. They have arranged grief counseling for students returning to school this morning.