Obituary of 15-year-old girl who took own life mentions school bullies

BEDFORD, Pa. —  The family of a 15-year-old Pennsylvania girl who hanged herself says in her obituary that she had a tough life made worse by school bullies.

Sadie Riggs’ family posted her obituary on Facebook after she died Monday. They say she was in counseling and took medications for emotional issues complicated by bullying, much of it on social media.

Here is what they wrote:

“In an effort to debunk the rumors about Sadie’s death we would like to share this information. Yes, Sadie took her own life, she hung herself. It is hard to fathom that someone so young could be so troubled. Sadie was seeking help, she was in counselling and taking medication, but it was all too much for such a young soul to live with. If you take a minute and look at Sadie’s family dynamics you will see that a large percent of the people in her life were not not related to her by blood but she was sent to us by God who knew this child needed a family. Sadie had a tough life and until a recent incident at school she handled everything life served her. For a young lady so excited about going to the High School things sure went terribly wrong for her. For the bullies involved, please know you were effective in making her feel worthless. That is all between you and God now, but please know that it is not to late to change your ways. Sadie’s death has taken us to dark places, we will stick together and protect one another as we try to make sense of this tragic loss. To all the bullies out there, I just want you to know that as much as we despise your actions never, ever do we wish for you to feel the paralyzing pain that engulfs our bodies, a pain so severe that it makes the simple act of breathing difficult or the guilt that leaves us wondering what we could have done differently-or that struggle to remember the last words we spoke…Our hearts are beyond broken. Sadie, it was a privilege to have you in our lives and we will always love you. May you find peace in the arms of God and may we all be kind to one another.”

Bedford Area Superintendent Allen Sell says that he can’t comment on the specific situation but that policing social media bullying is difficult because schools don’t have jurisdiction if it happens outside school hours. The district is offering counseling to students affected by Sadie’s death.

Sadie’s family tells the bullies: “Please know you were effective in making her feel worthless.” They’re asking people to “be kind to one another” instead of sending flowers.

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