11-year-old Bethany Thompson was a student at Triad Middle School in North Lewisburg, Ohio. She survived brain cancer eight years ago after undergoing several radiation treatments and the removal of a tumor that left her with a ‘crooked smile,’ according to her father.
Bethany committed suicide earlier this month after as a result of being continuously bullied at school.
The sixth-grader’s mother, Wendy Feucht, said her daughter had a sadness that consumed her, which she only confided to her friend in the days leading to her death on Oct.19, according to the Dispatch.
“She told her she loved her and that she was her best friend, but that she was going to kill herself when she got home,” Feucht told the paper.
After school, Bethany found a loaded gun on top of her father’s shelf and shot herself on the back porch, Thompson, who is divorced from Feucht and had custody of Bethany, said.
The Champaign County Sheriff is treating Bethany’s death as an apparent suicide from a gunshot, according to a police report.
Feucht was sure her daughter took her life after her friend told her that some students started picking on them, the Dispatch reported.
Other possible suicide motives would be Bethany’s “crooked smile,” which some students noticed and that made her feel defeated, her father told the paper.
Triad School District Superintendent Chris Piper told the Daily News that Bethany’s school was aware of the bullying.
“Last school year, District officials investigated a complaint raised by the student and appropriately resolved the same,” Piper said in a statement.
Piper said the district could not disclose further information, but that district officials took steps to protect Bethany.
Piper noted that Triad School District is providing anti-harassment and anti-bullying training for students and faculty members who may need it.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bethany’s family and her community.