BREAKING: Everett optometrist allegedly molested 10-year-old; more victims feared

Local teen who was bullied online commits suicide

 ISSAQUAH — A sophomore at Issaquah High School committed suicide earlier this week and her friends say cyber bullying led her to take that step.

The young girl was a talented musician who dreamed of becoming a star.

“She’s the most talented person I know,” her best friend said. “She had the most amazing voice.”

She added that fellow students at the high school bullied the girl on Facebook and Twitter.

“I’m really mad because the people who egged her on, the people who said the horrible things to her, they don’t even know that they’re part of the reason she’s gone,” her friend said. “If those people hadn’t said those things that night, she wouldn’t have thought twice about anything and she would still be here.”

Issaquah High School said it has a strict policy about bullying, but a representative for the district said that the girl never came forward.

While her friends struggle with the loss, one of them is looking for a way to honor her friend, and is contemplating creating a foundation to shine a light on cyber bullying.

“She a great person and I miss her. I said she was going to change the world, I’m just going to do it for her.”

The school district said that at some point there will be an investigation into the girl’s death.

31 comments

  • holdeninwa

    I was bullied by Seattle's gay community, by those who are Jay Inslee's biggest supporters and, separately, by another person on Facebook. All adults. Long term, sustained campaigns. I didn't understand it & was confused.

    Ignoring the hate doesn't always resolve the situation. I tried to laugh it off, tried to be nicer, tried to be "strong" by pretending it wasn't happening. Then I told others and they, in turn, only vilified my pleas & told me to shut up, they didn't wanna hear it.

    The deep seated rage & low self-esteem of these bullies only intensified as I tried to blend into the scene, like everybody else. I consider myself as everyone's equal. I treat everyone as my equal, of equal value & intelligence. But bullies & the silent witnesses do not see things the same way.

    So now I stand up to bullying. Aggressively. It's an ugly hate crime & I will defend my & the dignity of the vulnerable. With words. I've learned from being repeatedly bullied that silence, inaction, turning the other cheek often only reinforce the bully's rage & it can have deadly consequences.

    In despair, a victim can commit suicide to end the pain when society or witnesses to bullying do nothing but wax poetic w/passive, useless non-sequiturs about the beauty of passive silence, which then demeans & further erodes the victim's sense of value as an equal human being.

    I've learned there are two perpetrators in bullying: the bully him/herself & witnesses/those who are informed about the bullying who choose to do nothing or turn on the victim for speaking up. This latter group, worthless & cold, unfortunately, are the ones who reinforce the feeling to the victim that no one cares. And, sadly, at times, the victim feels the only option is to commit suicide.

  • Tara

    This is the 2nd time in two years for the Issaquah School District has had issues with Bullys. My daughter Leslie was the first one who was cyber bullied at Issaquah Middle school. See http://www.forleslie.com to read the whole story. Or go on Facebook at "For Leslie" to read how the school does nothing. I would hope the family doesn't stop and goes after the district for the sake of Claire and others who are bullied. This needs to stop! Obviously this District will come under fire. RIP Claire and much prayers go to the family.

    • sophie

      I went to school in the issaquah school district for a year and immediately transferred to Bellevue the following year. The girls were vicious. They were so mean and ruthless. Issaquah school district might claim they have a strict policy but i would have to disagree. it is disgusting how these girls treat other girls. Even their sports teams have had sportsmanship issues with my high school as well as others.

  • wildninja

    The school district and the police need to do a full investigation, identify the primary perpetrators, and hold them accountable. I am so tired of lives being lost to these sick human beings who get their kicks making life hell for other people. I would really like to hear what the school district has to say about this and what, if anything, was done in an attempt to stop it.

    • Donna

      I agree. The kids who did the bullying need to be held accountable! They are all old enough to know better. I hope they find out who did this and charge them with assault. This has got to stop!!

  • Kelly

    I don’t know what the school district can do about students using their private social media accounts from their personal phones and computers. How is this the school districts fault? If a student is being bullied and seeks support from the school, that is one thing. But demanding that the school district stop cyber bullying is like saying the district should stop teenagers from eating junk food….how?

    • jeff

      You're right. When a student's account has been hacked they need to tell their parents that their accounts have been hacked. That said, most teenagers don't want their parents to know what is on their media accounts. This is case of technology and society. Is technology contributing to this issue?

  • Chris

    My two children are in Issaquah schools they are 9 and 12 and almost on a daily basis come home and tell me that the other kids are making fun of them, due to our last name, I have been to the school numerous times regarding this and I get the same excuses every time, teach them how to deal with it, or we will listen for that. I do not think I should have to teach them to accept being made fun of at what is suppose to be a safe haven for them,school. In short the school even after numerous complaints on my part have done nothing, at all to stop this behavior, So sad that this is the outcome now a days for some many children.

  • holdeninwa

    Tara, Sophie… I am so sorry about your experiences. I am writing an email today to Gov. Jay Inslee about launching a FULL investigation into the Issaquah suicides by an INDEPENDENT (perhaps newly formed) task force who are out of the Issaquah school district. There's a lot of social pressure, esp from the community (wealth, occupation, i.e., the status quo) to influence inaction from teachers & school administrators. One has to wonder if these cruel & mean girls have parents who themselves are bullies. The behaviour is learned. The status quo can often have deadly consequences. When I first read this latest story, I thought it was an "old" story that somehow showed up on a google search… I actually restarted my laptop to make sure it was a new/recent story. Bullies disgust me. I am always about peace & going w/the flow…. but not in this case. Doing nothing is deadly for the innocents. Change can & will happen. Let's make it a reality. I'm on social media: https://www.facebook.com/kenmarb

  • Pete

    The first step to stopping bullying is at home. Parents please take responsibility and talk to your children about bullying and what to do if it happens to them. Kids are mean in general and why are not parents checking what their kids do on social sites. Hmm! Are we to afraid to confront our kids and what they are doing? BE INVOLVED!

  • ST Katz

    We are so very sorry to hear this sad news, and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.

    Please… if you or someone you know needs support during a crisis… please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – there is someone available 24/7 to talk to. Your call is confidential.

    Seth – Board Member WA
    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

  • Sharon Bethel

    I am the mother of an Issaquah Higjh School Student who suddenly and unexpectedly passed away 4 years ago, not through the act of completion of a suicide, but due to a freak accident of nature. Everyday, I have to force myself to endure the deep and intense pain that I feel in my heart due to his absence as do his brothers and his father. At times, I still find myself anticipating his return home from school, a baseball game or a date, but that will never be. When I read about the circumstances of this girl’s death, I felt enraged that this could have happened. However, with the proliferation of often unsupervised social media networks, cyber bullying has gone “viral”, so to speak. The ultimate question is: What do we do about it? The very definition of a “BULLY” is a “COWARD”; someone who feels so threatened or inferior to another that he or she will go to great extents to diminish or take away from the “targeted” one, any feelings of worthiness for having attributes or talents that an emotionally healthy individual would respect and admire in another. The BULLY will enlist the assistance of cohorts with similar personality defects as their own to aid and albeit their attempts to make the target of their JEALOUSY a “LIVING HELL”! I Bullying and cyber-bullying has become so prevalent these days, especially affecting an especially vulnerable age group–typically young people who are just coming into their own, struggling with an identity crisis, sexuality issues, fierce competitiveness on a social basis as well as academically. The tendency is for the bullied one to withdraw, thinking there is something amiss with themselves, not having the experience and wisdom to perceive that they are not the ones with the problem– those that bully whether it is done face-to-face, in a public forum, or via phone calls/text messaging/ emails or online are trying to draw attention to themselves via negative behavior and the feel empowered when they feel they are succeeding and draw strength in the recruitment of others who possess similar mentalities of low self-esteem, narcissism and as an overall loser. It is our responsibility as adults to be vigilante to signs of bullying in your own child and be pro-active. Report such incidents to the school district as well as to the appropriate authorities (i.e., the police). Thinking that it is a stage that every child needs to learn to handle on their own might be the costliest mistake you may ever make!!!! If your child actually survives and lives to adulthood, they will perceive that you failed to protect them from something that has everlasting ramifications for which they will never forgive you if you failed to act in an appropriate way at an appropriate time. I am so very sorry for the family and friends of this young girl. My only hope that her tragic death will not be in vain; that by educating the general public about the pervasiveness and the severe emotional and psychological damage it inflicts on others, we can intercede on behalf of those too ashamed and too beaten down to speak out for themselves. And please respect the privacy of the family. Hug and cherish your own children each and every day because “TOMORROW IS PROMISED TO NO ONE” . LIFE IS TRULY A GIFT FROM GOD, BE IT EVER SO FRAGILE.

  • Janice Bristol

    The investigation needs to happen NOW. Before computer files are erased. Before memories are blurred. Claire didn't deserve this and unfortunately she couldn't overcome the negativity in her life. If a child was indeed being bullied on the internet that is a crime. Do not delay on this investigation.

  • The Hobbit

    You can't just blame one district. It is happening through all of the US. The districts can not regulate what happens on Social Media. They can encourage and make it easier to report abuse at school and via social websites. This girl was a friend of my daughters and she is sick that Claire felt this was a way out of being hurt.
    Parents need to be a part of the child's life and keep tabs on what is happening on these sites. Don't pass the buck as a parent off to the school districts.

  • jw5745

    There is nothing new about bullies and bullying. What is new is the proliferation of mama's boys, and girls, into this pitiful culture.

  • NerdyPoo

    I can tell you right now, for the most part these very wealthy, snotty Issaquah High School parents will say, "not my kid", then turn around and bully (i.e. hire a lawyer) anyone who tries to name and shame the perps. Seen it all before. My heart is broken for this young lady's family, and for all of us-we will never have the chance to enjoy her musical talent.

    • Guest

      You are correct. Those boys parents will be horrified to know they bear some responsibility for this girl's death. I heard about it last week from another IHS parent. We were shocked by the District's lack of action, but not surprised, given their long history of turning their backs on bullying behavior. It's much easier to ignore it than to deal with it.

  • Kristina

    Laws need to need changed. Communication is so poor between the schools and parents.
    Parents need to take a stand. Talk shows and websites don’t work. We need to get involved ask question and be nosey when it comes to our kids.

  • Scott

    This happens every where, but that doesn't make it right. My son was bullied in elementary school in the Renton SD from K-4 grades. Had approached the staff and Principal numerous times about their lack of attention to the District's Anti-Bullying policy to no avail. One time when he was in the 3rd grade this bully and his homies had my son surrounded, prostrate on the ground while they were kicking and taunting him. One of my son's Cub Scout buddies came to his aid. Unfortunately, the friend tripped and crashed into the group knocking some of the bullies down. The play yard monitor saw this (Oh, yeah but not the kids kicking my son) and came over as the bullies dispersed. She gave my son's friend two weeks detention – without even asking what happened. My son got up and tried defending his buddy by trying to explain that he was only coming to help. She gave my son a weeks detention also. The Scout's Mom and I petitioned the Principal to investigate the situation and all she would say was that is was not her problem or job to monitor what happens on the play yard. And that the detentions would stand. Good thing she's no longer working for the District as Principal.

    • Guest

      At elementary, school should do more to reduce the bullying. School is not a place students only to learn academic, but also they should learn how to be a good,nicer person. Teach them stop bullying before they get hard to control!

  • Azzarra

    Cyber bullying is a growing problem for everyone, it can create a lasting effect on a person's life, and others will lead to suicide. We should educate our children about this before its too late. My daughters are becoming more adept when it comes to social networking websites. So I reminded them to secure their personal information and never do anything that could be use against them. And as a parent, we should be vigilant with their activities and we should be the first one to ensure their safety. Thanks to this application that I recently signed up I can make sure that my family is fully protected. Please do check this out to also protect your family form all types of harms. Check it here: http://safetrec.com

  • Guest

    My teen used to watch "Glee," and I was appalled at how much the characters throw insults at each other, making bullying an entertaining sport. So many of the shows on TV have humor at the expense of others, and glorify harassment. No wonder kids behave so unkindly towards each other — it makes makes them feel powerful when other kids laugh as they torture someone.

  • Arale

    There are lots of things school district can do. Before those mean teens could do cyber bullying, I'm sure they were mean too at elementary level. That level can be found at school by staff. At least school should teach them to be a nicer person when they are very young .At least school should encourage all students report any this kind behave to teacher whenever they found one. Stop bullying at early stage! Tell students that bullying will lead to a crime life!

    • Mom from Issaquah

      Yes, but this has been tolerated in Issaquah schools and at the distrct level for years. The boys (most of the teens who were involved in this case were boys) have been bullying kids for years. The school officials and administrators do nothing. In my own child's case, I threatened to call the police in and then finally pulled my child from the school district. I am grateful that the high school in Seattle has zero tolerance for this stuff and steps up to it.

  • Joseph Lund

    I am a parent of 2 Issaquah School District students, one currently in a ISD high school who has one of his teachers on "administrative leave" pending investigation. Now I am hearing from my student that this teacher admitted to having an affair with a student…all the while the ISD has been SILENT. My younger child who will soon be in HS is wondering will this teacher be there when she gets there, and I have no answers, because again the school district is being silent.

  • Mom from Issaquah

    My son was bullied from at IMS and I am grateful I was able to get him out of the school district. I spent more time in the Principal's office and writing to the Superintendent – with no response. I finally threatened to call the police in if my son ever reported another incident of bullying.

    I know many of the kids and parents who have teens at IHS and the school district administration only gives lip service to their "zero tolerance" policy. A number of the girl's friends reported not only that she was bullied at school but, provided the school administration with the names of those who were bullying her. It wasn't only "cyber" bullying, it occurred on school grounds.

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