HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C.- Authorities are investigating the death of an 11-year-old girl in South Carolina after the family says the child took her own life after being bullied at school.
The family of Toni Rivers told WTOC, their little girl shot and killed herself.
Toni’s aunt, Maria Petersen, said, “She told five of her little friends that she just couldn’t do this anymore, and she was going home and she was killing herself.”
By the time one of Toni’s friends told her parent about what Toni had told her, it was too late.
Toni’s mother, Amy Thomas, says she had been in contact with the school concerning the bullying for a couple of months.
Hampton County School District 1 Superintendent Ronald Wilcox told WTOC his district’s legal team told him not to comment on the family’s allegation. On Oct. 31, the school released a statement:
“It is with heavy hearts that the Hampton One family mourns the loss of one of our students. Our sympathy and prayers go out to the family and friends affected by this tragedy. Counselors have been made available and will continue to be available to offer any needed support. Student matters are confidential and we believe it would be inappropriate to comment further on this tragic incident.”
WTOC reports that several other parents have come forward since Toni’s death, saying their children have also been bullied by the same student.