Bullying led 11-year-old to commit suicide, family says (VIDEO)


An 11-year-old South Carolina girl’s death is being investigated after her family told police her suicide was the result of being bullied at school.

Toni Rivers was a sixth-grader who was described by family members as being energetic. According to her aunt, Maria Petersen, she told friends she was contemplating suicide last Wednesday.

“She told five of her little friends that she just couldn’t do this anymore and she was going home, and she was killing herself,” Petersen reported.

According to police, the sixth-grader returned home from her Hampton County School District elementary school on October 25 and shot herself with a small-caliber rifle. The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office reports that Toni’s 14-year-old sister found her and called 911.

Toni lying was airlifted to a medical center in Charleston, but later died.

According to WYFF, the student who was bullying Toni may have also been targeting other children in the school. Reportedly, Toni’s family says six other parents have agreed to be interviewed as part of a State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigation, after they said their children were bullied, too.

Miranda Cook says her sixth-grade daughter, Kyra, “got shoved into a bookcase and had her head hurt, and when she came home, she told me it was the same child that had been bullying her.” Cook reported that the bully said she was sorry when she realized Kyra was hurt.

According to Cook, when the bullying was reported to school officials, changes were made, however the adjustments did not correct the problem long-term.

“It’s been a regular thing since last year,” she said. “It’s taken care of, and it won’t happen for awhile. Then, it’ll be a few weeks, and she’ll come home saying she’s bullied again.”

Toni’s mom, Amy Thomas, said, “My baby’s gone, but everyone’s got confidence now, you know, they can stand up to her.”

SLED’s public information officer, Thom Berry, confirmed the department is investigating. He would not say if it was a death or criminal investigation. He said the agency looks at the issues surrounding any child death it is called in to investigate, according to WTOC.

“We go where the investigation takes us,” Berry said.




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