While many see bullying as an adolescent rite of passage, for those who suffer through it, it’s almost unbearable. Over the past few years we’ve heard about several children and teens committing suicide because they couldn’t cope with the emotional trauma of being bullied.
Last week, Ashlynn Conner–a 5th grader from Illinois–was buried after she committed suicide, and in the same week, another 10-year-old, Jasmine McClain, took her own life because she was being bullied.
Jasmine McClain hung herself and died in her mother’s arms after incessant bullying in her North Carolina school. Jasmine’s mother, Samantha West, says her daughter was “sweet and loving” and she had no clue her child was under so much emotional distress.
“I just lost it because she took her last breath in my arms,” West said. “She was a loving child. I just don’t understand.”
After Jasmine’s suicide, many were looking for answers. After her death was ruled a suicide, police were preparing to close the case when they happened on a Facebook page created in her honor. After several messages indicated little Jasmine was bullied, police kept the investigation going.
Police Chief Steven Shaw said, “Children started coming forward and making accusations that she was bullied – and bullied bad – in school.” He continued, “Everyone that we have spoken to, there are little indicators – not huge indications – but small indications that she was not happy.”
According to WRAL: “State lawmakers passed two anti-bullying laws two years ago. One made online bullying of children a misdemeanor, while the other required school districts to adopt policies to prohibit bullying without specifying the punishment for violators.”
So far, it’s unclear if anyone can be directly held responsible for Jasmine’s death, but it’s clear bullying was a major factor. Local police, as well as school officials, are investigating.