An 11-year-old girl–beautiful and kind with her whole life ahead of her–took her own life last month because of the relentless bullying she endured at her elementary school in Hampton, South Carolina.
ELEVEN years old.
Toni Rivers was a sixth grader with a heart full of compassion and kindness for others. Unfortunately, those around her didn’t have the same qualities.
The young girl was reportedly bullied for months at school and just “couldn’t handle it anymore.”
Toni’s mother, Amy Thomas had reached out to her daughter’s school about the situation on several occasions but felt the school neglected to do anything about the ongoing bullying.
On Wednesday, October 25th, Toni reportedly told five of her close friends that she was going to kill herself.
That afternoon her sister found her lying on her back with a gunshot wound, and Toni was rushed to the hospital. Doctors treated her for 72 hours before she was pronounced dead.
Officials are still investigating whether or not any of Toni’s friends tried to inform an adult or any of the girl’s family members.
Y’all, THIS is what kids and teens are facing today. After Toni took her life, the parents of SIX other children from her school came forward saying they have been bullied by the same student that pushed a beautiful young soul to suicide.
Hurting people, hurt people.
Bullies aren’t just born, they’re taught. They learn from the ways and words of others, and out of their own pain, they cause other people pain.
The death of Toni Rivers is pain that no sixth-grade bully could ever imagine. We can’t let another child be pushed to such extremes.
According to DoSomething.org, more than 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year, and an estimated 160,000 teens skip school every day in fear of being bullied. It’s is the No.1 act of violence against young people in America.
We each have the power to stop the violence.
Please join me in praying for the Rivers family as they grieve the terrible loss of sweet Toni, and visit NoBully.com for more information about how you can join the fight to end bullying.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.