TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - After weeks of investigating, school officials have made a final decision on a school's role in a teenage girl's life – a girl whose mother and friend say took her own life due to bullying.
Last month we told you the story of Angel Green, whose mother, Danielle, says was bullied to a vicious degree by her classmates. One of Angel's friends also spoke with us, blaming bullying for Angel's death. Andrew Swartz voiced concerns about students being heard when they report bullying at their school, Battle Ground Middle School.
According to Tippecanoe School Corporation (TSC) Superintendent Dr. Scott Hanback, TSC conducted an internal review of the events surrounding Angel's death, which evaluated policies and procedures to make sure all actions, responses and resources were utilized properly.
Hanback said TSC also analyzed the specific strategies and actions that had been put in place for Angel in particular.
"We are confident that Battle Ground Middle School had wrapped all available social and emotional resources, both internal and external, around this child and the family in an effort to provide support and promote strong self-esteem, foster conflict resolution skills, and encourage good mental health in the same manner we would for any student in one of our schools," Hanback said.
More detailed information into Angel's case will not be released, Hanback added, due to legal obligations to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.
"The entire Battle Ground Middle School community continues to grieve with the Green family over the loss of a precious life," Hanback said. "Our hearts go out the family of Angel Green."
Hanback also released a TSC statement on bullying in general:
"In response to the recent allegations of bullying, all schools in the TSC are committed to providing a safe environment for children to learn. Bullying, harassment, hazing or intimidation is not tolerated and any reports as such are taken very seriously. Corporation policies and procedures support disciplinary action in these cases and schools proactively provide support and training for students to grow not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well."
According to Battle Ground Middle School principal BeAnn Younker, the conflict in this particular situation was among Angel and her friends.
Younker says while she can't pinpoint a specific number of times Angel was in her office, she does say it was countless times.
When we asked Younker whether or not the investigation points toward bullying as the reason for Angel taking her own life, Younker said no.
"Does bullying exist in schools? Heck yes, it does," Younker said. "It exists in schools across the country. Was this an issue of bullying? In my opinion, no. But I know more than most. I was entrenched in this for the last 2 1/2 years."
You can find more on TSC's bullying policy at its website.
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