Special Reports

Young Cancer Survivor Committed Suicide Due to Bullying, Family Says


A young cancer survivor committed suicide all because she was being bullied in school, her parents say.

Eleven-year-old Bethany Thompson, a sixth-grader at the Triad Middle School in North Lewisburg, Ohio, is a soft-hearted cancer survivor with a crooked smile, CNN reported. At age 3, she was diagnosed with brain tumor and had to go through radiation treatments to get well.

Yet despite winning the battle against cancer in 2008, her battle wasn't over yet: the nerve damage caused by the tumor left her with a crooked smile to the right of her face. This crooked smile, along with her curly hair, became reasons for young Bethany to be bullied in school, said her mother Wendy Feucht.

"I think that she was just done. She didn't feel like anybody could do anything to help her," Feucht told the Columbus Dispatch. Bethany's death is treated as an apparent suicide from a gunshot, police reports said.

Feucht said she is certain that bullying led Bethany to take her own life, and that according to one of the young child's friends a group of classmates was picking on the girls in the class last Wednesday, October 26.

"She told her she loved her and that she was her best friend, but that she was going to kill herself when she got home," Feucht said.

True enough, when Bethany went home that day, she found a loaded gun on top of her father's shelf, proceeded to the house's back porch, and shot herself. Paul Thompson, Bethany's father who had custody of her, said the sad incident could have been prevented.

"She was my baby girl," Thompson said. "Everybody knew she was my princess. And she was a spoiled one."

Feucht said Bethany and her friend made posters containing slogans like "Buddies, not bullies" and asked the school administrator if they could use it. They were turned down.

"I'm sure she felt pretty defeated," said Feucht.

Triad School District Superintendent Christ Piper acknowledged that Bethany was being bullied in school last year, but said that the matter was settled. For this year, however, Piper said they had no evidence of the young girl being bullied.

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