A Washington state mom claims to be heartbroken after learning bullying may have prompted her teenager son to contemplate taking his own life.
Now, she's considering suing the school.
According to Shannon, who did not want to release her full name or her boy's name, her 13-year-old son complained of being constantly harassed and bullied at school in Pierce County, Washington. The bullying had been so hard on him, she told reporters, that the boy often tried to arrive late to school so his classmates wouldn't mess with him. Still, the bullying continued, only getting worse over time.
In mid-June, classmates finally did the unthinkable: They used her son's yearbook to write hateful messages against him — some even encouraged the seventh-grader to commit suicide.
“I can't imagine how he felt when he picked it up from the ground, after it was thrown at his back and saw that, those words,” she said. “Absolutely heartbreaking.”
As he left school, embarrassed because of what had just happened, he called his mom and told her he was going to end his life.
“That was the worst phone call of my life,” she said.
After the incident, Janel Keating-Hambly, the boy's school district's superintendent, sent a letter to parents telling them about this tragic and concerning story.
“As educators,” the letter states, “we are devastated when something like this happens to any student.”
"Our immediate concern is for the safety and well-being of the student involved, and school administration has been working closely with the student and their family from the beginning," Keating-Hambly also added.
At this moment, both the school district and the police are investigating the mid-June incident.
But despite their efforts, Shannon says the yearbook incident wasn't the first time her son had gone through similar troubles at Glacier Middle School. Now, she and her family are considering suing the district.
According to the family's attorney, Yvonne Ward, the school was aware that Shannon's son had been bullied long before the yearbook incident.
“We hope that by bringing a lawsuit, the district finally understands their legal duties to provide a safe learning environment for kids," Ward told reporters.
It's saddening that bullying in this school got to a point that the parents believe only legal action can help address the problem. It's important that educators are constantly working with parents so that these incidents are prevented in the first place.
Thumbnail Credit: Scpr