March 23, 2022

Elkhart middle school students rally against bullying

(Google Maps Street View)

(Google Maps Street View)

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Hundreds of students and their families gathered outside a northern Indiana school Tuesday morning to rally against bullying and in support of a 12-year-old girl whose family said she took her life.

“Stop the bullying!” and “See something, Say something!” said several signs held by students who walked out of classes at Elkhart's North Side Middle School.

The girl whose family said she took her life March 14, had an autoimmune disease that caused her to lose her hair and was frequently bullied at school, The Elkhart Truth reported.

“This never should have happened,” said Corgan Hammond, a seventh-grader at North Side Middle School. “This could have been prevented so many times, but it wasn’t, and this is unforgivable.”

Her family said they reached out to the school on multiple occasions to talk about how the girl was being mistreated but said the issues weren’t addressed.

Elkhart Community Schools Superintendent Steve Thalheimer supported the students' 45-minute rally.

“This is an important cause and I’m here to listen,” he said. “I fully agree with the message, ‘See something, do something,’ and encourage everyone to do just that.”

Thalheimer said the district is completing an internal review and cooperating with police as they investigate.

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