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Mother of 12-year-old bi girl who killed herself speaks out about bullying

Joseph McCormick May 11, 2015
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The mother of a 12-year-old bisexual girl who killed herself after enduring biphobic bullying, has spoken out to condemn the school for apparently suggested her daughter should just “toughen up”.

Alyssa Morgan, who came out aged 12 to her family in Iowa. According to her mother, she was immediately accepted by all of her family, who told her: “We love you no matter what.”

Nicole Morgan, Alyssa’s mother, said her daughter had faced bullying at Southeast Polk Junior High, and that she had appealed to the school for help, but to no avail.

Ms Morgan came home on 3 April to find her daughter had killed herself.

She said Alyssa would often come home crying, saying she had been bullied.

Speaking to KCCI, she said: “When you have other people telling you that you’re not worthy of anything, or that being bisexual is wrong or somehow disgusting. … They’re going to take that into thought — that maybe I wasn’t right for this world.”

According to Ms Morgan, staff at the school “don’t seem to want to deal with the situation… to me it seems like they want to cover it up,” she told the Des Moines Register.

She said administrators at the school had the attitude that bullied kids need to “toughen up”.

A statement issued by the school district on news of Alyssa’s death read: “Our deepest sympathy and support go out to the family, as we continue to respond appropriately and thoughtfully to their needs, the needs of our students who have lost a classmate, and the needs of our staff members.”

In 2013, A J Betts, also of Southeast Polk Junior High and High School took his own life. His mother said the school did not address homophobic bullying he faced.

Alyssa Morgan was the 15th student at the school to take their own life in 12 years.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article and need to talk to someone, visit samaritans.org or call 08457 90 90 90.

Related topics: Iowa, suicide, US, USA

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