ROCKFORD (WIFR) – We hear about bullying all the time. It’s something that can be difficult to stop. Now, one parent is begging Rockford Public Schools to take control, saying his daughter’s life is at risk.
13-year-old Carrie Steele says it’s good to be back home. She just returned after spending two weeks at a mental health center and she says bullying is to blame.
“They push my head into lockers I had a bruise on the top of my knee and right by my ankle because they were throwing V-darts at me, it’s a rubber band they shoot back,” Steele said.
Carrie says the bullying got so bad that two weeks ago she tried to take her own life at Kennedy middle School, by swallowing a bottle of anti-depression and anxiety pills she was prescribed partially because of bullying.
“If I die, then I can’t be hurt no more, I can’t be pushed into lockers, I can’t be bullied.
Carrie Father, Adam Steele, says attempted suicide is one of the scariest incidents a parent can experience.
“It’s truly terrifying, more than just the terror of knowing that she almost succeeded and could have tried is the fact that no one at this school has taken any accountability for it,” Carrie’s father, Adam.
Steele says despite dozens of phone calls, he’s heard very little from school leaders since the bullying started over a year ago and he wants something done.
“To implement better security, better supervision, a lower tolerance towards bullying, nothing."
Carrie says she’s reported the bullying to teachers, some say they can’t help because they didn’t see it. She says some of the alleged bullies have been reprimanded, but they continue to bully.
The district does not comment on specific student matters but in a statement, they say “when an allegation or threat is found to be credible, district staff acts properly to address the threat where needed. We put in place a safety plan.”
Bullying is listed under the zero tolerance category in District 205’s student code of conduct. That means a student could be suspended or possibly expelled.