EVERETT, Wash. -- Dozens of students at Evergreen Middle School walked out of class Monday to honor a 12-year-old classmate who took her life.
Amber Caudel’s father says she had been bullied.
“She went home and hung herself. In the inside she was broken down but she kept such a game face to let everybody know she was fine and happy,” father Scott Caudel said.
Amber’s father says bullies routinely taunted his daughter.
“A geek, called her all kinds of names, one kid spit on her,” Caudel said.
Family members say those words hurt for a 12-year-old who wanted to be popular.
“She would never be mean to anybody, she was the most loving person,” sister Kathleen Toscano said.
“She was still gaining self-confidence in herself and they were degrading her even more,” friend Ellen Fuller said.
Compounding the problem, on the day Amber died, school officials told her she would have to repeat the 7th grade if she didn’t get her failing grades up, something her family also blames on bullying.
Amber`s dad says he reported the bullying to the school at least twice.
The district couldn`t confirm the reports Monday but says it is looking into it.
“All of our schools take bullying very seriously. Had they been evasive, they would not have allowed students to air their voice today,” district spokeswoman Mary Waggoner said.
Some students say they want the bullying to stop and for parents to do more, too.
“Make sure they are getting everything they need, tell them every day you love them,” Fuller said.
Many students took the walkout off school grounds. The district says those students will not be suspended.