Classmates Find 12-Year-Old Girl Dead From Reported Suicide At D.C. Boarding School Raising Concerns Of A Toxic Culture Of Bullying

Profile of little African girl writing  in classroom.

Classmates Find 12-Year-Old Girl Dead From Reported Suicide At D.C. Boarding School Raising Concerns Of A Toxic Culture Of Bullying

One parent pulled her son out of SEED after years of alleged harassment.

Published January 24, 2018

After the apparent suicide of a 12-year-old girl who was found by her classmates at a Southeast Washington, D.C., boarding school, parents are growing concerned over alleged bullying in schools. 

Police have not released any information on the girl’s identity or specifics of her death, yet they did confirm the girl was found unconscious by her roommates at the SEED School of Washington, D.C., reported Fox 5 DC.

After the girl was found around 6:15 a.m. on Tuesday, parents received a call from school administrators instructing them to to come pick up their kids.

The girl’s death was a tremendous shock to most of the community, yet for some parents, the news hit close to home.  

“It kind of touched me really deep because of the situation that has been happening with my son at this school,” parent Mami Buxton told Fox 5.

According to Buxton, she resorted to pulling her son out of SEED after two years of alleged bullying.

“It was disturbing to hear it had happened to someone else’s child," she said. "I’m heartbroken."

After the two years of bullying, Buxton said her son was allegedly sexually assaulted by another student and they are still trying to find a resolution with SEED.

“I know first-hand what it’s like for [students], considering the situation with my own son and how he feels about how they operate when it comes to situations as far as bullying is concerned,” added Buxton. “He feels no one is listening and no one is helping.”

Buxton filed a police report the day of the alleged sexual assault. She has also been trying to get incident reports from the school since it happened more than two weeks ago.

In response to Buxton’s allegations, the SEED School of Washington, D.C., released the following statement: 

“The safety and security of our students is our top priority, and we have stringent procedures in place to protect our students. Any time an incident is reported, we take all precautions to immediately ensure the students' safety. We then launch a thorough internal investigation, involving the parents of the involved students throughout the process. Our protocols are designed to protect not only our students' and families' safety, but their confidentiality. We are constantly reviewing these protocols in order to strengthen them wherever possible.”

In addition to concerns of bullying, attention is being given to the reported rise in youth suicide – specifically among black women between the ages of 12 and 24.

“I’m just devastated from what I have heard today,” Washington resident Phyllis Williams told Fox 5. “Our kids are our future. We have to do better at communicating with our youth.”

SEED is the nation’s first public charter college-preparatory boarding school.

SEED originally released the following statement to FOX 5 regarding the 12-year-old student's death:

“We are deeply saddened to report that a SEED DC student unexpectedly passed away this morning. This is of course a terrible tragedy for the family first and foremost as well as for the entire SEED community. We ask that you respect the privacy of the family and of our community of scholars and teachers in their mourning. We can provide no further information at this time.”

Written by BET Staff

(Photo: Liderina/Getty Images)


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