The mother of a 12-year-old girl who committed suicide after facing years of vicious bullying at the hands of her classmates is sharing her story in hopes of changing how schools deal with complaints about bullying.
Alyssa Morgan, a seventh-grader at Southeast Polk Junior High School in Des Moines, Iowa, hung herself in her family’s garage on 3 April.
Alyssa’s mother says her beautiful daughter was left feeling like she wasn’t worthy after she was constantly bullied by her peers over her bisexuality.
“When you have other people telling you that you’re not worthy of anything or that being bisexual is wrong or somehow disgusting, you know, they’re going to take that into thought, you know, that maybe I wasn’t right for this world,” said Morgan. “It got to the point where you know, she wasn’t happy anymore and she was self-harming herself.”
Morgan said her daughter took her own life earlier this month and was the one who found her lifeless body.
“I am the one who found my daughter and the image haunts me every day,” said Morgan.
Morgan told KCCI that Southeast Polk Schools officials were repeatedly told about the bullying but did nothing about it.
She said her daughter recently came out to her family and others that she was bisexual, which apparently exacerbated the bullying she suffered during the school day.
“She would say people were calling her names,” Morgan said. “All of us told her we don’t care; that it doesn’t bother us and we love her no matter what. But I think she was bullied for that because some people think it is wrong; because they don’t understand it.”
Des Moines Register adds:
On the morning of April 3, Morgan was leaving her home when she found that Alyssa had hanged herself in the garage.
She called police and tried to give her daughter CPR, but Alyssa was unresponsive when police arrived around 2:30 p.m., according to the police report.
A handwritten note on a piece of yellow notebook paper read, “I’m sorry … for everything … I just can’t anymore … I love you ALL Goodbye.”
In the police report, the officer noted that “They did tell me that the victim may have experienced some bullying at school.” The report noted that there were no ongoing arguments that might have provoked her suicide.
Morgan said that she had seen Alyssa inside the house about twenty minutes before she found her, and she appeared to be fine.
Moore said she’s fed up with how the district addresses complaints about bullying.
“They’re trying to cover up this stuff and it didn’t end with A.J. And now that I see they’re trying to cover up their lack of responsibility with this latest suicide, I’ve decided to speak up, because nothing’s going to be done unless the public knows what’s going on at Southeast Polk,” Moore said.
“How many lives does it take before you guys step up and do something about this?” Morgan said.
Moore said she was told Betts was the 14th suicide at Southeast Polk in 10 years, making Alyssa Morgan the 15th in 12 years.