North Carolina authorities are investigating the death of a 10-year-old girl who hanged herself Monday night after repeatedly being bullied at school.
Samantha West said she found her daughter, Jasmine McClain, dead in her bedroom Monday night.
“I just lost it because she took her last breath in my arms,” West said Wednesday. “She was a loving child. I just don’t understand.”
Police Chief Steven Shaw said her death was obviously suicide, and he was about to close the case when he started checking posts on Facebook and other social media about Jasmine and her death.
“Children started coming forward and making accusations that she was bullied – and bullied bad – in school,” Shaw said.
Jasmine was picked on at Chadbourne Elementary School, West said, noting other children teased her about her clothes or her shoes. She left the school for a while and dreaded having to return about a month ago, her mother said.
“It’s a shame that kids are that cruel. It really is,” Samantha West said, noting that she never knew how badly Jasmine had been tormented.
It seems both the victim and the victimizers in this sad story are under the mistaken impression that what makes a human being truly valuable can be purchased and worn.
According to Police Chief Shaw, “Everyone that we have spoken to, there are little indicators – not huge indications – but small indications that she was not happy.”
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.
Shaw said it’s too early to determine whether anyone could face criminal charges in Jasmine’s death.
Chadbourn Elementary Principal Deanna Shuman said the school is working with police and is also conducting its own investigation. Flags outside the school flew at half-staff on Wednesday in Jasmine’s memory.