Concerned Chase Middle School mother speaks out about bullying - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Concerned Chase Middle School mother speaks out about bullying

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

You are not alone. Last week, KHQ learned a Chase Middle School student killed herself, devastating news to everyone who knew her. She should have been thinking about homework, dating and friends but she took her own life instead.


Chase Middle School sent in grief counselors to help students sort through their emotions and parents were notified. The district says one suicide is one too many.

KHQ talked with a concerned Chase Middle School parent who says it's time to speak out. She didn't want to show her face on camera or give her daughter's name, out of protection for her but she agreed to talk to KHQ because she wants to stand up against what's happening.

She's concerned about bullying and what it could potentially lead to. "As a parent, I want other parents to talk to their kids and say, 'This is happening. This is for real. Kids are killing themselves.' Kids are leaving their homes to go into psychiatric units like my daughter," she said.

She says her daughter ended up at the hospital because of her peers. "I discovered that my daughter was inflicting bodily harm on herself. I knew that she had been having a hard time with these girls at the school. I didn't realize it was that severe," she said.

She says her daughter's grades began to suffer because of bullying. She started to dodge classes. She blocked everyone, taking her Facebook down. "Basically, I refer to it as a pack mentality where certain groups of girls that I've experienced will single out the weakest member and humiliate them, ostracize them, alienate them and not only in person but online. So they're just making these kids feel like they don't even want to leave the house," she says.

The school district says a good portion of bullying happens on social media and they track it down as best as they can.

"I'm devastated. As a mother, I am supposed to protect my child and make sure that she doesn't hurt emotionally or physically," she says.

The school district has a lot of resources online about bullying. Some key points from those resources say, if you are a student, don't respond if someone is bullying you through social media. Tell your parent, or an adult at school. If you are a parent, save or print those inappropriate messages and pictures your child shares with you because that's evidence if you take any action in the future.

What should a parent do if they feel their child is getting bullied? One of the best avenues to take is to go directly to the teacher. If the parent feels like nothing good is coming out of it, the next step is to take it to the assistant principal or principal. If nothing happens then, time to bring it to the district.

While we don't know what surrounded the suicide of the Chase Middle School student last week, the district says a crisis team is notified every time a suicide happens. That crisis team is put together by the school district and it consists of a counselor from the school, specialists and trained psychologists. They have an open door policy and say anyone can talk to them at any time.

Below are some resources you can take:

http://www.spokaneschools.org/Page/57

Spokane: http://www.srhd.org/topics/suicide.asp

In North Idaho:

Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN) 208-290-6161, North 2366 Hickey Road, Sandpoint, ID 83864

Region 1 Mental Health Crisis Line 208-769-1406

Kootenai County Crisis Hotline 208-664-1443

North Idaho Crisis Center 208-625-4884

More information: http://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Families/SuicidePrevention/Resources/tabid/1920/Default.aspx

Spokane County:

Suicide Prevention Resources https://www.srhd.org/documents/Health_Topics/SuicidePrevResources.pdf

More information: https://www.srhd.org/topics/suicide.asp

Hotlines:

Suicide Hotline 1-800-SUICIDE

Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK

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