Driven to Suicide – Family Says Bullying on Bus Lead to Daughter’s Suicide

Thursday January 31, 2013

By Sherri M. Gordon

This was a hard week in central Ohio. Another middle school student decided to take her life after suffering from constant bullying. Eleven-year old Hailey Petee was found dead Sunday morning by her mother inside the family's home. Her family said bullying led to her daughter's decision to commit suicide.

According to Petee's parents, their daughter wasn't bullied on school grounds, but was tormented on the bus and sometimes around town by a group of middle school students. The bullying became so bad at one point that the mother changed her daughter's daily routine and even transferred her to a different bus. Yet, despite the parents' efforts to help her overcome the bullying, it continued for over a year often leaving her depressed and in tears.

As a result of this tragedy and heartbreaking loss, there has been much discussion within the central Ohio community about how much of this is the school's fault and where the responsibility lies. Some have indicated that they feel the bus company should be held responsible for bullying, while others point to school administrators. Still others encourage families to get the police involved.

Under the new Jessica Logan Act passed into law in 2012, schools now have the right to address bullying that occurs off school grounds including on school buses and on social media sites. But are we asking too much of our schools? What are your thoughts? Should schools be held responsible for bullying that occurs on the bus ride to and from school? Email me your thoughts or connect with me on Twitter.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto

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