In a rural Minnesota town this past weekend, two 14-year-old girls had a sleepover. Paige Moravetz headed to the home of her friend Haylee Fentress Friday evening for what appeared to be the same kind of teen girl fun had at slumber parties across the country. Only this one was horrifically different.
When Halyee's mom went to wake the girls Saturday morning, she found them both dead ... with suicide notes nearby. It appears the girls hanged themselves in a tragic suicide pact.
I can't imagine the grief and horror of that mother upon entering her daughter's room and finding them there as she tried but failed to resuscitate them. I don't want to even think about how Paige's parents reacted when they got the call in Hawaii where they were vacationing. I can't imagine what could drive two beautiful young girls to take their lives like this.
As their families and communities reel, they're trying to put together the pieces as to why, and if there were signs of what was to come. Some believe the girls may have been victims of bullying. According to MSNBC, Haylee was recently expelled from school for a fight she got into in which she was defending Paige from other students' harassment.
On Facebook, Haylee -- who had moved to the community about a year ago and quickly formed a deep friendship with Paige -- wrote to an aunt: “I'm soo done with people here there soo two faced and mean to me its not even funny."
Haley's mother, Tracy Morrison, is adamant that her daughter's suicide is a result of bullying. In a statement, she and Haylee's sister wrote:
We need to stop pretending this isn’t happening or that is just a cry for attention because obviously it is not. This needs to be talked about and we need to try to prevent this by teaching kids in school, community and at home. They need to know they are not alone. It shouldn't take more tragedies to realize this.
This breaks my heart and terrifies me as a parent. While the challenges of raising a toddler and a first grader right now seem overwhelming at times, I know that the emotional and social issues in our future are going to make all this pale in comparison.
To think of them being treated so badly by their peers that it makes them want to end their own lives makes me want to never let them interact with another single child. I know that's not the answer, but I also don't know what is.
Something has got to change in schools, in homes, in society. We can't continue to sit back and watch cases of bullying and its tragic results that continue to pepper our headlines. Life should not be this hard for our children.
Best wishes to the families of these girls as they attempt to cope with this tragic loss.
What steps do you think need to be taken to prevent bullying in our schools?
Image via YouTube