A family from Nashville say their 12-year-old daughter took her own life last week after being the target of merciless bullying at the hands of football players and cheerleaders at her school.
Tarhiya Sledge, a special-education student at JFK Middle School, committed suicide at home on November 18, sparking a police investigation and a separate internal investigation by Metro Nashville Public Schools.
Sledge’s parents are now considering filing a discrimination lawsuit against the school district, alleging that administrators had been made aware of the bullying but failed to protect Tarhiya from her tormentors.
Roland Mumford, the family’s attorney, told the station WKRN it has been alleged that someone had hurled a trash can at Tarhiya in one instance, while in another the child had had her hair pulled so hard that some of it had come out.
‘The mother put the JFK middle school on notice in writing, email, and in-person countless times in the last 90 days and they failed to take action,’ Mumford said.
After alleging failing to get help for her daughter at school, MiKesha Glover was forced to pull Tarhiya out of classes in late October.
Mumford said so far, he has gathered six names of students suspected of bullying Tarhiya, among them members of the middle school’s football team and cheerleading squad, and he said there may be others.
Tarhiya’s mother on Friday posted a message on Facebook appealing to other parents at her late daughter’s school with knowledge of bullying incidents targeting the child to come forward as witnesses.
In a follow-up post, the grieving mother, who was the one who found Tarhiya after her suicide, wrote: ”I can’t breathe, I can’t sleep, my body is aching even thinking about the torture my baby had to endure at the hands of bullies.’