Cyber-bullying may be to blame for teen's death in Montco

Saturday, April 8, 2017
Cyber-bullying may be to blame for teen's death in Montco
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Cyber-bullying may be to blame for teen's death in Montco. Jeff Chirico reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on April 7.

LIMERICK TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- Limerick police are investigating the death of a 9th grade girl from Spring-Ford High School. They say bullying may have pushed her to suicide.

A member of her church said, "It is a tragedy that has rocked our community."

Grief counselors were on hand at Spring-Ford High School where the student attended.

Action News was told that, as the news of her death spread, many left school early.

Hundreds gathered to grieve at a nearby church where ministry leaders say the girl volunteered every Sunday to help younger church members.

Melissa Flora of Christ's Church of the Valley said, "It says how big of a heart she had and how special she is serving God and people around her."

Police are investigating whether cyber bullying may have driven the girl to take her life.

The victim apparently received this text from a fellow student. It's so vulgar we can only show one part which reads "no one care about you."

It's unclear what relationship the two had or how long any harassment had been happening.

Jess Fenchel of Montgomery County's Mobile Crisis Service says cyber bullying is a common thread in a lot of teen suicides.

She encourages parents to be alert and involved.

"Developmentally, our kids are not prepared or ready to respond or manage the stress cyber bullying brings," Fenchel said.

The Spring-Ford School District issued this statement:

"Our thoughts are with the family as they struggle to make sense of this tragedy. We encourage our school community to care for one another as we cope with this loss of a young life."

Church leaders are also offering help.

"This Sunday we will have another vigil for her to honor her and share stories. We just want to continue to be a support and we want everyone here to know we are here, people are here to listen," said Flora.


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