Family of second Copper Basin High student to commit suicide cit - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family of second Copper Basin High student to commit suicide cites bullying problem

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POLK COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - A 13-year-old student from Copper Basin High School in Polk County has committed suicide after her family said she was bullied. It's the second teen suicide related to school bullying in two months.

Angel Harris said her 13-year-old daughter, Jazmine, dealt with constant bullying by classmates.

"Telling her she was fat and worthless, she should just go die, that nobody would care," Harris said.

Jazmine's family says that's an example of what pushed the teen to take her own life on Friday.

Harris says she went to the school numerous times before, but the bullies didn't stop.

"It hurts so bad that nothing's being done about this. It's being swept under the rug because there were no witnesses to it," she said.

"Sometimes without evidence, it's hard to deal with bullying on a one-on-one basis when there's a discrepancy in the stories," said Polk County Schools Superintendent Dr. James Jones.

Beginning Monday, the district's behaviorist will be on Copper Basin property full-time. Her job will be to work with students and help address bullying.

Back in March, another Copper Basin student, Patrick Griffin, 18, committed suicide. His family said he was bullied, too.

"To have two students commit suicide in such a short time at one school is alarming," Jones said.

After Griffin's death, Jones said the school asked students to come forward if they saw someone being bullied -- or if it was happening to them.

"A small town like this, a lot of people don't accept it. Jazmine wasn't afraid to be herself, and I think a lot of people ridiculed her for it," Harris said.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK.

For more information on recognizing bullying and getting help, click here.

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