Alyssa Morgan killed herself last month; she was 12 years old.
Now her mother, Nicole, is telling Alyssa’s story and how the administrators and teachers at her school, Southeast Polk Junior High, failed to protect from the bullies who drive Alyssa to suicide.
Nicole says that at home, her daughter was like any 12-year-old; she loved to draw and play video games and try on her Mom’s makeup; and when she came out as a bisexual, Nicole simply told her daughter: "We love you no matter what."
But school was a different story; other students bullied her, called her names, say she was disgusting, make her feel worthless, and before long Alyssa would come home from school in tears and she began cutting herself.
Nicole says Southeast Polk Junior High knew what was happening, but did nothing to protect her daughter from bullies. In fact, she says that when she took her complaints about the bullying to school administrators, she was told that Alyssa needed to "toughen up."
This is the same school where, just two years ago, 16-year-old gay student A.J. Betts also committed suicide after being endlessly, horrifically bullied. See his story HERE.
But even in the light of Alyssa Morgan’s death, the school takes almost no responsibility. On April 30, Southeast Polk Community School District Associate Principal Nathan Ballagh emailed a statement to a local news station:
"Over the last four years our students and staff have stepped up our bullying prevention efforts. A lot of our efforts are led by our students who provide us (school officials) insight to what bullying looks like in our school and community and what we can do to help prevent bullying. Our students have really been the driving force and have taken ownership in preventing bullying in our schools."
Sadly, though, Alyssa’s suicide was the 15th suicide at Southeast Polk Junior High in the last 12 years; that means more than once a year … every nine months actually … a student at that school commits suicide, and the administrators think they have it handled.
I have a solution, though, that might make administrators and teachers understand the problems: spend a week being bullied by your peers. Walk the halls and be shouted at, spit upon, pushed, shoved, called worthless, fat, faggot, nigger, dyke, queer, asshole, motherfucker every single day, every single hour for at least a week.
And then imagine that happening to a twelve-year-old and telling them to toughen up.
Zero tolerance means zero tolerance.