Friends of McMinn Central student say bullying led to suicide
ENGLEWOOD, MCMINN COUNTY (WRCB) -- A McMinn Central High School student has taken her own life and some of her friends say it was because she was bullied.
We want to point out that McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy says there's no evidence to believe the student was bullied to the point of taking her own life.
But he does acknowledge what her friends are saying, and says he will look into the matter.
Channel 3 is taking a close look at the bullying policy in McMinn County Schools.
At the request of the sheriff's office, we are not releasing the 17-year-old student's name.
In Englewood, her death has brought bullying back to the forefront and we wanted to know what school officials are doing about it.
As classmates mourn the death of a straight-A, 17-year-old soccer player at McMinn Central, many wonder whether classroom bullying was involved.
Investigators say no, but that doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist.
McMinn County School officials say they've been working on a new bullying policy for nearly a year.
"It was bad four or five years ago, but it's gotten a lot worse since then," one mother, who wishes anonymous says.
The mom has 14-year-old son who's about to begin high school. What worries her isn't so much what happens in the classroom, but on the internet.
"We keep him off the internet as much as possible," she says.
McMinn County School Superintendent David Pierce says the only minor changes the new bullying policy will have pertains to cyber bullying.
But for parents like the mom we talked to, bullying can always be stopped at home before it even gets online or in the classroom.
"If parents don't step up and do the right thing then what's to be done," she says.
McMinn County's new bullying policy has already passed its first reading.
Board members will vote on the second reading this Thursday and will vote on the third and final reading next month.