The incessant harassment became too unwieldy for a girl of 11 years old with a “crooked” smile, said her mother. At 3 years, Bethany Thompson was diagnosed with a brain tumor, who fought through radiation treatments.
Although cancer free since 2008, the treatment caused nerve damage, which changed the smile of Bethany. That, and her curly hair, led to bullying , said Bethany’s mother, Wendy Feucht.
Feucht said that after a particularly difficult stalkers Wednesday, Bethany told her best friend she could not take it anymore, and was to end his life.
The sixth grader at a school in Ohio that evening committed suicide on 19 October.
Her friend’s father called the mother of Bethany, but it was too late. Bethany found one of the two weapons kept at home, and shot himself. His stepfather was sleeping in another room.
Feucht said the girl had to have been looking for the weapon, since neither she nor her husband told their children where they were and always kept hidden.
“There is a missing piece, I had this constant in my life for 12 years and is now gone,” Feucht said. “Nothing will fill that gap.”
“She was my princess, my girl. Life revolved around it for me,” Bethany’s father, Paul Thompson said.
His family and friends remember Bethany as generous and loving and full of life. He loved to swim, listen to music and animals.
School investigating the problem
The Triad school was aware of the problem of bullying , Feucht said. She had talked to the director as recently as Monday before the death of Bethany. The director said it was investigating, said the mother.
The superintendent of School District Triad, Chris Piper, confirmed that the school was aware of the problem.
“Last school year, district officials investigated a complaint from the student and resolved it. Like many school districts across the country are currently doing, the school district Triad is making efforts to strengthen the fight against harassment with training for both students and staff, “Piper said in a statement.
Bethany studied there all his life, and while his family considered changing to Bethany school, his mother thought it was safer to leave it in one where everyone knew his story.
Bethany saw a counselor who helped her find coping mechanisms and coping with their difficulties with self-esteem, Fuecht said.
You have the support of friends, it was not enough to prevent harassment, and some kids in his class intimidated her and other frequently, said the mother.
Bethany and her friend went to school with posters with anti-bullying legends on his last day at school, and administrators were told they could not use them, Feucht said.
The community support
The community has joined the family of Bethany.
About 400 people attended the North Lewisburg United Methodist Church on Sunday to raise funds to help cover funeral expenses.
Donations and messages of sympathy have come from across the country.
The family plans to use the remaining funds to create a scholarship in the name of Bethany and raise awareness against bullying.
Feucht wants others to learn from the experience of his daughter and the memory of Bethany alive as a reminder of the importance of zero tolerance toward bullying .
“If this was the last life, if his death could stop him, she would be happy,” Feucht said.