North Carolina authorities are investigating the death of a 10-year-old girl who hanged herself Monday night after repeatedly being bullied at school.
Samantha West said she found her daughter, Jasmine McClain, hanged in her bedroom Monday, November 14, 2011.
“I just lost it because she took her last breath in my arms,” West said Wednesday. “She was a loving child. I just don’t understand.”
Police Chief Steven Shaw said her death was obviously suicide. While investigating the case, he started checking posts on Facebook and other social media about Jasmine and her death.
“Children started coming forward and making accusations that she was bullied – and bullied bad – in school,” Shaw said.
Jasmine was picked on at Chadbourne Elementary School, West said, noting other children teased her about her clothes or her shoes. West said that Jasmine told her that the kids made fun of her shoes being la
st year’s model or that they were dirty. She left the school for a while and dreaded having to return about a month ago, her mother said.
Her Mother never knew how badly Jasmine had been tormented.
“Everyone that we have spoken to, there are little indicators – not huge indications – but small indications that she was not happy,” Shaw said.
State lawmakers passed two anti-bullying laws two years ago. One made online bullying of children a misdemeanor, while the other required school districts to adopt policies to prohibit bullying without specifying the punishment for violators.
Currently, no one has been charged criminally in Jasmine’s death.
North Carolina Cyberstalking Laws
- The following definitions apply in this section:
- Electronic communication. – Any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature, transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, computer, electromagnetic, photoelectric, or photo-optical system.
- Electronic mail. – The transmission of information or communication by the use of the Internet, a computer, a facsimile machine, a pager, a cellular telephone, a video recorder, or other electronic means sent to a person identified by a unique address or address number and received by that person.
- It is unlawful for a person to:
- Use in electronic mail or electronic communication any words or language threatening to inflict bodily harm to any person or to that person’s child, sibling, spouse, or dependent, or physical injury to the property of any person, or for the purpose of extorting money or other things of value from any person.
- Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing, or embarrassing any person.
- Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another and to knowingly make any false statement concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct, or criminal conduct of the person electronically mailed or of any member of the person’s family or household with the intent to abuse, annoy, threaten, terrify, harass, or embarrass.
- Knowingly permit an electronic communication device under the person’s control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.
- Any offense under this section committed by the use of electronic mail or electronic communication may be deemed to have been committed where the electronic mail or electronic communication was originally sent, originally received in this State, or first viewed by any person in this State.
- Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
- This section does not apply to any peaceable, nonviolent, or nonthreatening activity intended to express political views or to provide lawful information to others. This section shall not be construed to impair any constitutionally protected activity, including speech, protest, or assembly. (2000-125, s. 1; 2000-140, s. 91.)