LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — A middle school student’s suicide has roiled her community, with students walking out of school and her family saying support services failed her.
Family and friends said 13-year-old Anie Graham was harassed and bullied before taking her life on Tuesday. The next day, dozens of students walked out Lewiston Middle School in an anti-bullying protest, and students and parents returned that evening for a candlelight vigil.
Matt Graham, Anie’s father, told the Portland Press Herald said there was no help.
“The school and the hospital and the insurance company all told us they couldn’t help,” he said. “Every system we have in place failed our daughter.”
Fourteen-year-old Vanessa Roberts told the Sun Journal newspaper that her friend was told “to just ignore the bullying.”
Lewiston school Superintendent Bill Webster, who has met with the father, said that no adult in the school to his knowledge had information about the girl being bullied.
“This does not mean that bullying did not take place. It does mean that we can never stop doing work to encourage children to come forward to an adult when they are struggling with the unkind words and actions of others,” he said Thursday.
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