The apparent suicide of a 12-year-old boarding school student has sparked concern about a potentially rampant bullying culture that may be taking place at the institution.
The young girl’s unconscious body was discovered by her roommates early Tuesday morning. Parents of students at the SEED School of Washington D.C. were immediately instructed to pick their children up from the school.
Information surrounding the pre-teen’s apparent suicide is unknown.
But her death follows closely behind the deaths of two separate instances in which young Black girls have taken their lives. In November 2017, 10-year-old Ashawnty Davis of Colorado hung herself in her home after being bullied by peers. The next month, 8-year-old Imani McCray of New Jersey also hung herself. Officials noted McCray saw a news report about Davis’ suicide prior to her own.
Last January, Rolling Out reported the suicide rates among Black children, although low in comparison to that of other ethnic groups, has tripled.
One parent of a former SEED student told Fox 5 she was forced to remove her son from the nation’s first public charter college-preparatory boarding school after he was bullied for two years and was recently sexually assaulted by a fellow classmate.
“I know first-hand what it’s like for [students], considering the situation with my own son and how he feels about how they operate when it comes to situations as far as bullying is concerned,” Mami Buxton told the news outlet. “He feels no one is listening and no one is helping.”
Buxton said there is a bullying culture at the school which is not being acknowledged by school officials.