Student Attempts Suicide at School
(KATV) Dover - A Dover teenager is at Arkansas Children's Hospital fighting for his life, a life he tried to end Wednesday morning.
Police confirm the 13-year old tried to hang himself in a middle school bathroom. They say it is because of a break-up in a relationship, but the teen's relatives and friends say he has been bullied all year.
The district superintendent declined to comment.
"It started getting bad around 4th grade. It just kept getting worse ever since that." 13-year old Elijah Emerald went to Dover Elementary and Middle School and knows the boy who is in the hospital. They shared a common dilemma bullies. "Mainly verbally, but a little bit of physical."
They weren't the only victims and he says there are a lot of bullies. "Nobody could do anything really about it."
At a crossroads, depressed, refusing to go to school and getting ulcers from the stress, Elijah finally started telling teachers, but it made him a tattle tale. "They'd just get scolded and then they'd get mad at me and started watching out where the teachers were and making sure I didn't tell."
His parents tell Channel Seven they also pleaded with the school for years, then in December it took a tragedy for Elijah to switch school. "I started taking out my bullying on other people, innocent people. Then I started taking it out on myself because taking it out on other people did not help me at all. Just got worse and it became a habit to hurt myself."
Elijah was in the hospital for nearly a month. Since January he's been at a private school with no tolerance for bullies. He now makes videos about his life experience. He concludes, "I'm doing this because honestly in my opinion bullying needs to stop. Nobody really speaks out, people want to but nobody has the courage to. I'm just thinking that I should do it." He continues, "The Videos don't just inspire other people, they inspire myself also."
Several students found the boy in the bathroom. Current students have been in contact with Channel Seven by phone and email, you can see some of their quotes below. Several students say they're not just fearful of the bullies but because they were told not to speak to media.
* A Dover student started a "Help Stop Bullying" Facebook page. You can click on the link under the picture to see it.
SENTENCES FROM EMAILS SENT TO CHANNEL SEVEN:
"I have been bullied at Dover Schools all my life. I have suffered bullying, and taunting all my life at Dover. I have suffered from depression. I tried to go on with life, but that however did not work. Everything got worse when I got into middle school at Dover."
"He gave a classmate a suicide note and it was passed around and mocked. Several students went into the bathroom and saw him before some girls went and got some help. Someone needs to be held accountable."
"Please make people aware, nothing is being done."
"My children have been bullied all their school lives at this school. Who gets the punishment for the bulling? This school needs help!!! The bulling has to stop somewhere."
"Hello, I am a graduate of Dover High School and as a student there I was bullied. I chose to let it go in one ear and out the other as nothing was done when I would tell the principal or teachers. Since my time there bullying has increased and gotten more cruel and violent. I have a family member there who is still a victim of bullying and instead of being protected by the school he was persecuted for speaking out."
"Last month three young men sat in a class and plotted , when , where , and how to kill a student. Since when is conspiracy to commit murder harmless?"
"My story of bullying takes place almost two decades ago. It began in 3rd grade and ended in the 9th grade. It was always about my weight and how chunky I was. Anytime I told a teacher, I was told to just ignore it, as I did for many years. Since that time my former teachers and principals have moved on to other things so I'm not so sure my story will help at all."
"My girlfriends sibling talks all the time about how bad the bullying. When I went there it was bad. Hope your crew can shed the light on this story maybe that would make the District know they can't keep doing this"
"I was wondering if there was a way that ya'll could figure out why Dover public school is hiding the truth about what happened. A young boy in the 8th grade tried to hang himself in the bathroom. What did Dover school do about it....they said oh the reason why he did that was because his girlfriend wrote him a note and broke up with him. Did they forget to mention that he has been bullied all year and he goes to the facility and tells them about and they don't do anything. What is Dover going to do the next time somebody gets bullied and they do hang themselves or shoot themselves. What if they bring a gun to school and shoots a child. Dover really needs to enforce the rule on bulling to. Please do something about this before it gets out of hand"
"Boys went to court for death list. Now this happing to another student because the school is not helping the students that are getting bullied. Please help these children and show how the school is not stopping the bullies"
"I'm a student at Dover High school and I would like to help expose their negligence towered bullying. I was bullied my entire middle school years by "popular girls", called me really awful names and threatened me. I told the school principals & nothing was ever done. They basically just told me to "get over it" I tried to kill myself & had to see a therapist for a very long time. Until this is stopped Dover is no place for anybody to be safe. I'll do whatever I can to help!"
"It's my understand that the Dover Administration is putting out a story about this young man, over a note from his girlfriend. They are telling a very one sided story. He has been getting bullied at school. He has filed sever complaints to the administration about the bullying. They ignored his complaints and let the bullying continue. It eventually led to violence and fights. In one incident a boy had pinned him to a locker and the only way he could get the boy off him was to grab him by the throat until he let go. He was called to the principle office and was blamed for the incident. He was given five days of out of school suspension while the other boy received two days of lunch detention. The administration said that Dustin had used a "death move" against the boy and he was even charged and had court because of the incident and is scheduled for another court date. Even after this the bullying has still continued with Dover school district doing nothing to prevent it."
"From my understand the incident happened at 8 am, he was found, at 8:05 am, and his mother was not notified by the school until 8:45. When the father arrived he went to the middle school to talk to the principle and there were 6 police officers that kept him from speaking to the principle because he was afraid the father would blame him for the incident because of the previous complaints of bullying. This is not the only case where DSD has neglected its students and the fact that some are being bullied the extremes measures."
"Recently a young woman had her life threatened by a boy in high school. It was serious enough for the high school principle to fill out a report and send to the superintendent Jerry Owens who was suppose to sign the report and send it into the Dover Police Department, but it was never filed. I have had my share of being bullied and getting the blame pushed on."
"My child has been bullied. I personally advising the principal of another student threatening physical harm to my child with no action taken; my child was cornered, threatened, choked, slammed into the floor and kicked. My child went to the office to call home, and was told no - went to the nurse to clean and take pictures,then sent back to class for the rest of the day."
"It is in my opinion that if Dover was not so negligent the safety of its students that this senseless incident would never have happened and that if this boy loses his life, the administration of Dover School District will share in the blame. Hopefully someone and bring to light the truth of this tragedy"
Message to parents via school messenger Wednesday :
DOVER MIDDLE SCHOOL HAD A STUDENT WITH A MEDICAL EMERGENCY TODAY. STUDENT BEING CARED FOR BY MEDICAL PERSONELL. WAS TRANSPORTED TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL. YOUR CHILD IS FINE. WE WANT TO ALLEVIATE YOUR CONCERN WITH ANY RUMORS YOU MIGHT HEAR. CHILD WAS TRANSPORTED WITH IMPROVING VITALS TO ARKANSAS CHILDRENS HOSPITAL.