Ashlynn Conner, a 10-year-old Illinois girl, allegedly committed suicide last week because she was being bullied about her weight.
Conner's family has told the media that she was a victim of repeated bullying because she was overweight. Her mother, Stacy, told WCIA3 News, a local TV station, that two weeks prior to her death, Conner came home crying from school and complained that she was being bullied there and in the neighborhood.
They'd call her a slut, said a tearful Conner, Stacy Conner told the TV station. Ashlynn's ugly. She's fat.
The bullying seemed to have gotten worse last Thursday and the 5th grader, who used to attend Ridge Farm Elementary, asked her mother if she could be home schooled. However, her mother denied the request only to have Conner's sister find her dead from suicide in a closet, the TV station reported.
Stacy Conner told the TV station that the taunting has been happening for years. The single mother also said she didn't know what to do. Though they had spoken about bullying, Stacy Conner said her daughter never told her how bad it was.
I thought my kids were strong, Stacy Conner told WCIA3, That my words to them for guidance and advice would have more weight than what these kids were saying. I was wrong.
Illinois passed an anti-bullying law in 2001 but it wasn't enough to stop Ashlynn from completing suicide.
I don't know what it's going to take to stop it, Stacy Conner said, but no child should ever have to feel like they have to kill themselves to stop that kind of pain, her mother said.
The Board of Education has told the media that is saddened by the loss. The district has said counselors will be speaking with students and family.
Peggy Johnson, Vermilion County Coroner, has told The News Gazette that they are still investigating Ashlynn's cause of death.
There are all kinds of aspects of this death to look into, Johnson told the paper. Bullying was brought up to us as a piece of the investigation, and we are still finding out information.
On Sunday, Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn also told the paper that the death is being treated as a suicide at this time.
It is a suicide as far as we are concerned, Hartshorn said.
Last week, Ashley Billasano, 18, tweeted 144 times over six hours, of allegedly being molested by a family member and being forced into prostitution before taking her own life.
Back in September, Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old gay teenager, also committed suicide because of alleged bullying.