Bullying may have led to school suicide, arrests

Posted at 6:06 PM, Sep 25, 2015

TRENTON, Ohio - Bullying is being blamed for a 15-year-old girl's suicide at Edgewood High School, and the problems at the school don't stop there.

It looks like the arrests of two students Tuesday were connected to threats by the girl's friends against a senior boy accused of bullying her.

School officials aren't talking. One parent told WCPO that the school threatened to suspend or expel students if they talked about the incident.

The family of the girl who took her life said they weren't aware of any bullying.

But one day after the Sept. 17 suicide, an 18-year-old male Edgewood student filed a report with the Butler County Sheriff's Office. He said he heard two female students were threatening to kill him and shoot up the school.

"[The threatened student] states this stems from a incident involving a fellow student who hurt herself," an officer wrote in the report.

According to the report, one female student was questioned by a detective and the school principal, Adrienne Sanders, and that student admitted telling her friends she wanted to kill the same male student who complained to police.

The other female student was questioned by school superintendent Russ Fussnecker and said she knew nothing about it, the police report says.

WCPO reported Tuesday that four students were detained when they arrived for school that day. Fussnecker told WCPO some students had alerted the school to threats on social media, but he didn't mention the suicide or a reason behind the threats.

Two of the four students were arrested and charged with inducing panic. They were suspended for 10 days with a recommendation for expulsion, Fussnecker said.

One Edgewood parent, Karen Strobel, said the school should have done more to inform parents.

"I got an email about her dying and then my email went off again. I got an email about possibly a school shooting," Strobel told WCPO. "I was mad I didn't get a phone call. I went off."

Strobel's daughter, Allie Mullins, a 14-year-old Edgewood student, said school officials never explained to students what happened.

"They said, 'Stop spreading rumors. You need to stop, OK? Nothing's the matter.' Yeah, they didn't say anything," Allie said.

Allie said the girl who took her own life was her best friend. Allie said she never had any reason to suspect her friend was troubled.

"She was just amazing, just plain amazing," Allie said. "I was new last year and she showed me around - first one I got to know really good and she just kind of introduced me to everybody and I just started fitting in with her. "

Now Allie misses her best friend. She said she hoped  "bullying would stop and everybody would just stay positive ... speak,  say something, don't be depressed."

If you are concerned about bullying and teen suicide,  here are some resources that can help:

The Family Violence Prevention Project

Greater Cincinnati Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network

Cincinnati Children's Anti-Bullying Curriculum

The Girls Guide to End Bullying -  Ohio anti-bullying laws & policies

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Ohio Suicide Hotlines

Cincinnati Children's 'Surviving the Teens' Suicide Prevention program