It’s home time at Triad Middle School in Ohio on October 19 and Bethany Thompson prepares to hop on her bus home.
No-one would have expected that this would be her last-ever bus trip.
After telling her best friend she loves her and that they will always be best friends, Bethany walked inside, reached for a loaded handgun on an upper-shelf and took her own life.
It is still unclear who owns the gun.
This horse-riding- and op-shop-loving little girl was just 11 years old.
Her parents, Wendy Feucht and Paul Thompson, who are understandably shocked and grief-stricken, allege that Bethany took her own life because she was bullied at school, namely, as Mr Thompson asserts, for what kids would refer to as her “crooked” smile.
When Bethany was three years old, she was diagnosed with brain cancer. She had the tumour surgically removed, which saved her life, but some of the nerves in Bethany’s face were left damaged, leaving her with an uneven smile.
“I think that’s why she took (her life),” Mr Thompson said.
Mrs Feucht agreed with her ex-husband, stating: "I think that she was just done.
“She didn't feel like anybody could do anything to help her.
"People need to know that even the littlest things can break someone."
Not only that, but Bethany’s best friend also said that she and Bethany were teased relentlessly by their classmates that same day.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, this isn’t the first time a child has committed suicide who attended Triad Middle School; four years ago, a 12-year-old student also took his own life.
The school are now investigating how they can reevaluate their “anti-bullying educational side” so that they are able to determine “when things go from normal misbehaviour to a pattern of bullying and to deter and stop misbehaviour.”
If you, or a person you know, needs someone to talk to, visit Lifeline’s website or call them on 0800 543 354.
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