Bullied Minnesota girls hang themselves
TWO Minnesota girls who felt bullied by their peers killed themselves in an apparent suicide pact during a sleepover at one of the teen’s homes, ABC News reported today.
The bodies of Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz, both 14, were found by Haylee’s mother, Tracy Morrison, on Saturday at a home in Island Lake Township, Minnesota.
The girls hanged themselves and left suicide notes, one detailing plans for her funeral.
“She requested everything pink and princess and butterflies,” Haylee’s aunt, Robin Settle, told the network.
The two friends, who attended Marshall Middle School, reportedly felt like outcasts in their eighth-grade class.
Ms Settle said her niece was often teased about her appearance. She said Haylee, who was expelled from school for defending Paige in a fight, wanted to return to Indiana where she had recently moved from.
“She was made fun of for being overweight, her red hair,” Settle said.
Haylee reportedly wrote in a Facebook posting to her aunt after the expulsion, “I don’t know what to do. I’m so sad and feel lonely. I hope I get to be with my friends again soon.”
“I’m shocked and I’m mad and I’m sad … I don’t understand the mentality of kids torturing other kids, kids having to go through this. They don’t think they have anywhere to go to,” Ms Settle told ABC News.
But nobody close to the pair had any idea how desperately sad they were — or what they were about to do.
“Maybe we should have paid closer attention,” Ms Settle said on NBC”s Today show. “Maybe everyone should have paid closer attention.”
Paige’s uncle, Brett Behnke, agreed. “We need to pay more attention to these things,” he said.
Haylee’s mother and her older sister blame bullying for the girls’ desperation, AFP reported.
“We need to stop pretending this isn’t happening or that is just a cry for attention because obviously it is not,” Morrison and her daughter Ashley George wrote in a statement.
“This needs to be talked about and we need to try to prevent this by teaching kids in school, community and at home. They need to know they are not alone. It shouldn’t take more tragedies to realize this.”
The Star Tribune reported that grief counselors and other support services were made available this week to the girls’ classmates and others at the school.
“When the community experiences the death of a child, it is something that the community has to come together to work through,” Marshall Schools Superintendent Klint Willert told the Marshall Independent newspaper.
Paige was buried Wednesday and a funeral service was held for Haylee Thursday.