A 12-year-old student from Nashville, Tennessee was reportedly driven to suicide after being bullied by several of her classmates. According to reports, the young girl had special needs.
Tarhiya Sledge was a student at J.F. Kennedy Middle School in Tennessee, WKRN reports. Sledge took her own life on November 18. Her family told authorities that this was her second suicide attempt.
The Family Says the Girl’s School Knew She Was Being Bullied But Didn’t Nothing
Her family also claimed that Sledge had been bullied at school by several members of the football team and cheerleading squad. In a lawsuit the girl’s parents are considering, they say the school district discriminated against Sledge and failed to protect her despite knowing the bullying she had been subjected to.
In an interview with WKRN, the family’s attorney Roland Mumford said Sledge was even subjected to physical abuse as well. “Physical assault, for example, there’s an allegation that a trash can had been thrown at her, another incident where her hair had been pulled so hard that the hair locks came out and nothing was done.”
He continued, saying, “The mother put the JFK middle school on notice in writing, email, and in-person countless times in the last 90 days and they failed to take action.” The Metro-Nashville Public School district revealed in a statement that after having 13 cases of bullying were reported this year alone, only two of the cases had been confirmed.
However, it’s unclear if any of those cases involved Sledge. But Mumford claims he has found six names of students that may have been involved in the bullying that reportedly lead Sledge to take her own life. The school district said they have since met with members of the cheerleading squad “to help them better deal with thoughts and feelings.”
In a Facebook post, the child’s mother remembered her daughter, telling the world that Tarhiya had a good life and always had a smile on her face no matter what she was going through.
“My baby had the GREATEST life! My baby Tarhiya always carried a smile! My baby never walked around angry! Never! When you looked at Tarhiya, she was ALWAYS full of life! A smile was never forced on her. What you seen is what you got! I did a darn good job as her mother! She did every sport she could think of. My baby did it all! From tap, jazz, ballet, basketball, cheerleading, hip hop, mime, and even 5k marathons. My baby, she travelled the world. Most recently, we went to Jamaica and Grand Cayman Islands this summer. She went to Mardi Gras this year…and went to the U.S. Capitol, visited the White House. If you seen me anywhere, I always had/have my kids.”
And in a separate post, the mom asked fellow parents of JFK students to reach out to her if their child ever witnessed her daughter being bullied. The mom wrote:
“If you are a parent that has a child that goes to JFK, and your child has witnessed my daughter Tarhiya being bullied at school, please allow your child to speak up to inform me of specific instances of bullying and or harassment upon my daughter. Let me know your number, email, and please be ready with bullies names and detailed info. My inbox is always open!”
Investigations headed by police and Metro Nashville Public Schools are still ongoing.