Father of 12-year-old Everett girl who committed suicide says she had been bullied

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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.

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117 comments

    • Juan Mena

      It does…I graduated not to long ago and what i think is wrong is that schools tell us not to use violence as the answer but honestly it was the answer bullies need a punch or two in the face to get some education.

  • Becky

    Poor sweet girl…She was absolutley adorable…NO ONE deserves to be taunted and bullied, in ANY form!! My son was vicitmized in Kindergarden! A intelligent, loving boy..I did everything as a parent, reported it, kept in contact with his teacher, vice principal(the principal was whom I reported it to, and he never acklowledged it)..I even tried to get an interdistrict transfer, followed every requirment, jumped through every hoop), to de denied transfer! The superintendant ignored my emails, and pushed off to his secretary. It wasnt until my son was 10days absent into the next school yr(facing truancy soon!) that the Principal FINALLY called, wanting to talk and “fix it” with school psychiatrist! I decided to not subject my son to being forced to have to see that classmate and ended up basically “forced” out of the district!! He now attends a private school, almost too expensive, where his younger brother will also have to attend..ALL because the school didn’t CARE!! They treated us like WE were the problem, for speaking up…Something MUsT change!! Rest in Peace, sweet girl..My heart breaks for your family, and the future you were robbed of…

  • Joan Woodward

    So sad. I was bullied relentlessly as a teen due to stuttering….kids would mock my speech, others would laugh….I cannot pass off their behavior on just being a kid…..bullying needs to be cracked down on and punished……kids taking their own life……and always the nicest kids who are hurt…….just isn’t right.

  • Mary-Jane

    Teacher in the schools got to stop ignoring bullying and thinking of your further of children
    Or the parents need to go to the school board and talk with someone about the bullying and put a stop to it
    we don’t need to lose anymore of your young people to bullying

  • JoAnn Gerbing

    I just pray for her family and friends. I hope who was bullying understand the consequences of their actions. I was bullied a lot and considered taking my life a couple of times. I am so sorry she did. I wish someone could have been there to tell her things do get better and children (especially ones with messed up parents) can be so cruel. I found out my daughter was cutting herself. It was because she was unhappy with herself, because she had been bullied all through school. I’m so grateful I did not have to be these parents and have her take her own life.

    This saddens me to no end and I just pray that God has taken her in his arms and that she is at rest and peace. It’s her family and friends that have a long row to hoe now. Pray for them and those who know them, be there to comfort them.

  • Darlene Geyer

    I think all the bullies involved with this poor child’s death should be prosecuted…maybe then bullies will get the idea that we will not tolerate it anymore. What makes me sick is that the bullies that caused her death have admitted it on face book and apologized after the fact and said that they loved her and they walked out in support against bullying. How dare you act like you cared about this sweet innocent girl after the fact. I also believe the school needs to be held liable for not doing anything about the bullying, especially when the parents have brought up the issue twice with the school with no results. How many more of our children have to die because of bullying? Why do kids think its cool to be a bully? I say convict bullies….make it a crime. Bullying has proven to be deadly…either by school shootings or by suicide!

    • Molly Hill

      Absolutely!!! I’ve gone into my daughter’s school, both middle and high, because of their lack of discipline to the bullies. Prosecution is the best discipline.

  • Stand up mom that puts it down

    If the father knew she was being bullied why didn’t he step up and spit on! I would get the bully n I don’t care how old they r and be ready for the parents. That’s how you handle a bully. A bully is nothing but a dumb. Sick, puppy who is probably being punked at home. Need to protect your child IF YOU KNMOW THEY R BEING BULLIED!

    • Elizabeth

      Yes I agree.. All bullies need a taste of their own medicine. Most of them are miserable at home. The parents of the bullies are displaying sickening things at home. Hurting people. Hurt other people. Most parents don’t have time 4 these kids. So they take that hate & anger to school to pray on the innocent!

  • Molly Hill

    My daughter called me to ask if I would reprimand her if she participated in Everett High School’s walk out. Teachers and staff were threatening the students that they were going to receive suspensions or detentions if they participated in it. I think Everett school district needs to pull their heads out of their asses and come down HARD on the bullies. My daughter has struggled since 8th grade because of bullying. Scars on her skin. Scars on her heart. Just two years ago, she lost quite friend to suicide because of bullying. WHEN WILL IT STOP? It’s time schools get serious about bullying.

  • David David

    I couldn’t read more than a few sentences before setting my Kindle down, crying, and trying not to think any further. I needed a few minutes to bring my tears into subjection and to pray for my own little sweeties before I could bear to resume. I prayed for her family who are suffering such sorrow. Being the father of a 12 year old daughter myself I feel the greatest sadness and empathy for her daddy. How overwhelming and crushing this must be for him! It would surely destroy if not kill me to suffer the same. My heart is aching now. I will be hugging my sweeties an extra long while today after I pick them up from school. I hope and pray that family knows the love of God and his sustaining grace.

  • leon redgrave

    THE PARENTS ARE JUSLOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO SUE…..THIS IS ALL ABOUT MONEY..THEY ARE GOING TO ASK FOR 2 MILLION DOLLARS ACCODING TO THEIR LAWYER

  • Kristen

    We cant fully blame schools. People want to put blame on others so they easier look at themselves in the mirror. Bullying comes from no parents at home because this country is on such a run away materialistic train that it requires both parents to work full time in order to pay bills leaving kids with little to no proper guidance and to be heavily enfluenced by tv, media, and other kids with equally no sturdy sense of direction. Schools cant be expected to teach, feed healthy meals that fit everyones particulars, police bullying, promote affection, all while forcing a factory education that teaches kids what to think and not how to think. This is NOT a school probpem…this is a societal problem. Want change? Things have to change on a massive level

  • bullycidetowhomitconcerns

    If you would like to have a better understanding of what it really feels like to be bullied, you should read this book, “The Faceless Reflections of Bullying”. It not only helps kids, but it can help parents better understand what to do if/when their child gets bullied – which I sincerely hope never happens…but unfortunately sometimes does. Bullying is awful and so destructive inside and out. Here is the summary of the book on Amazon: “The Faceless Reflections of Bullying” shows how a person who has been bullied feels, sometimes to the point of wanting to end their life because of it. The book begins by showing the anger, the sadness, the depression and the never ending pain, before transitioning into feelings and thoughts of overcoming the horrible experience. Positive feelings, self-empowerment and self-confidence to live and defeat the bully are highly suggested as the solution to putting a stop to being bullied. No more continuing to feel defeated or feeling like giving up on life altogether. There is also some information about the “why me” of bullying, along with a few notes for bullies themselves. My hope is that by reading “The Faceless Reflections of Bullying”, those unfamiliar with how a person feels being bullied will come to better understand it. To the bullies, I hope that you will come to better understand the pain your words and actions cause to those whom you lash out at. I hope this book will help answer some questions for loved ones and friends who have lost someone to suicide because of bullying: the whys. And, I hope those who have been bullied will realize they are not alone with their hurt feelings and see a way to overcome the pain and live a happy, bully-free life. I hope you will realize how special and beautiful you are and that no bully is ever worth ruining or ending your life over. There is a whole world out there. You have a purposeful life to live and you are just getting started. Never let a bully win. Fight back. Live.

  • Katie Caudel

    My name is Catherine Caudel, I am
    Amber Rose Caudel’s mother and I am here to tell a much different story and horrible truth related to the loss of my daughter. I have been to overcome with grief to speak up before now but the truth
    needs to be heard.

    In the summer of 2012 my family fell on hard times and I had asked Amber’s father, Scott Caudel, to take our daughter in temporarily until I could become stable again. I was staying on friends couches so felt it best for her at 9 years old to have a more stable environment. That fall I filed relocation paperwork to move myself and children to Texas where my son’s father, my spouse, had found employment and was ready to bring our family back together. This lead to a custody battle between myself and Mr. Caudel which lasted nearly a year. Because Amber was incorporated into Mr. Caudel’s home he was awarded custody; however there was instruction that myself, Catherine Caudel would remain a joint decision maker in ALL area’s of Ambers life: educational, medical, even had joint decisions over Amber receiving her driver’s license, tattoo’s and piercings were all written in by the judge because she wanted it made clear that I was to remain allowed to be involved in All areas of parenting. I was given scheduled visitation for the school breaks as often as possible, however because of the great distance weekend visits were not possible. Unfortunately it being court ordered meant little to Mr. Caudel. He was supposed to have Amber in therapy to help with the emotional storm that comes with a child her age changing households along with myself moving so far away (Texas) which he stopped on multiple occasions and as soon as I her mother would find out i would insist he start it back up and it would take him months of me hassling him before he would finally comply with my wishes. Mr. Caudel only sent our daughter for 2 visits in the two and a half years he had custody. I work a full time Customer Service Managers position at Walmart and support myself my spouse and two children providing full medical, dental, and vision for my family as well, including Amber. There was simply no reason for Mr. Caudel to refuse to comply with the court ordered visits but his own selfishness, which was why I was saving up the retainer money for a lawyer when this tragic event happened.

    The truth is Mr. Caudel couldn’t handle myself moving on and the thought of his daughter moving so far was difficult and so he choose to be selfish and ignore the signs. She started cutting herself around Christmas 2013, she was supposed to come for a Christmas visit but was not able to. At that time she was being seen by a therapist but Mr. Caudel would not give me the therapist name or even the clinic that Amber was being seen at. In early spring before our Spring break visit Mr. Caudel had stopped Ambers’ therapy. I had regularly requested her doctors’ names and contact information always being ignored by Mr. Caudel, and now I know that was because he wasn’t the one caring for Amber. It was her older sister and Mr. Caudel’s friends from Narcotics Anonymous because Mr. Caudel was to “busy” prospecting for the Hambre Motorcycle club. He was even to “busy” to take time to care for his daughter when she had her tonsils taken out after our visit spring 2014. He was then investigated for medical neglect because Amber fell and broke her arm but Mr. Caudel didn’t believe her that it was so serious so he didn’t’ take her to get an x-ray right away; again it was her older sisters who took care of the medical wellbeing of Amber. I fought with Mr. Caudel to get Amber back in therapy for months at this point and days before she is to board a plane for her summer visit Mr. Caudel text messages that Amber will not be coming for her court ordered visitation. At that same time Amber was FINALLY getting put BACK into therapy. I was so happy; I was hopeful that Amber would become the happy child she had always been before even if that meant missing that visit I knew her mental health was more important!! She had harmed herself shortly after her father gained custody and believe that once those issues start to happen its #1 priority to make sure mental health comes first above everything else. I am told by the therapist that once Amber reported that communication between herself and I had improved and it had for a short time; Mr. Caudel discontinued Amber’s therapy sessions. This was not discussed with me at any point in time. Once Mr. Caudel closed her sessions the therapist was under the impression I was informed of this change; which I was not.  

    The last two and a half years of
    my life have been a struggle to keep a relationship with my daughter while her father fought to keep her from me. All she wanted was her parents. She had started to dress and post provocative photos on Facebook, as early as 11 years old; pretending to be older, trying to get the attention she so badly desired. As her mother my hands were tied being so far away and her father being absent most of the time and not willing to co-parent even from a distance. She would lash out frequently because she needed her father to be there to be a father since he had taken her from her mother! I had started speaking with a lawyer and saving up the money for the large retainer fee they were requiring for the case because of the distance and details involved. Amber was loved dearly by more than just myself and her immediate family but by all those who’s’ life she touched. The fact is; Mr. Caudel is the ONLY one claiming bullying as an issue in this case.

    Bullying is a real problem in the
    public school system it always has been; and frankly it always will be. We were picked on as kids and we picked on other kids. It is how the dynamics of school was, and still is, it’s just how kids are. Do they need to be held accountable? Yes. Should we teach our children to treat others better? YES! But when it comes down to it when our kids come home from school they need to know that they can come to their parents about ANYTHING and they need to know they are going to be heard, that they are our #1 Priority!!           

    This is the True story behind my daughters tragic death. I have not and will not give up until the truth is known. I can provide any proof you would like such as the court orders for visitation or other such documentation to prove I’m her mother. the world needs to hear the truth!

    Catherine Caudel

    • Acalie

      Hi Katie my heart goes out to u and your family I will keep u and your family in my prayers God bless you all as u go threw this horrible time. What a beautiful girl she was I’m sure she’s at peace now she made me cry when she was saying she was saying her depression hurt so bad and she couldn’t stop that pain so sad.

  • Katie Riley

    I was not renewed in my public high school teaching job for next year, because I tried to stop bullying behavior in my classroom. Modeling and enforcing consistent standards of positive behavior, disciplining students for misbehavior, contacting parents, and asking for admin support all did no good. I, along with the decent, normal students in my classes, were systematically bullied by maladjusted thugs-in-training. School board, superintendent, and principal all conspire together to protect these thugs-in-training and their thug parents. I put a hidden camera in my room, to expose the lies and manipulations of thugs in my class. That deterred their behavior briefly, until principal ordered me to take it down. I was dismissed for not being able to maintain safe atmosphere, after he repeatedly allowed thugs back in my room with no consequences, and I confronted him about it. Send your child to school with a hidden body camera, immediately make a show of producing evidence of mistreatment to the district and media, and demand a transfer at district expense. Don’t just file complaint and expect them to do anything. Most teachers are caught in the middle. Protect your child!

    • Kristy

      Wow that’s horrible we need more teachers like you to stand up for the cause and keep morality and discipline in our schools 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👍

  • EdwardAPeak

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  • EdwardAPeak

    >>>>my neighbor’s sister-in-law makes $72 hourly on the internet .>>> She has been laid off for seven months but last month her pay was $20565 just working on the internet for a few hours. hop over to here>>>>>>>>>>>>> Read More

  • AmaRasu

    My bff committed because she was being bullied AND was at the stage of leaving primary. It was too much for her, and she left me a note saying how much she thanked me and was- was sorry. Now, nine years later, those same bullies are in jail for admitted murder. I’m shocked that my classmate, MY classmates would do that.

  • Cody Anderson

    This is so awful to hear that it is happening everywhere! Bullying needs to be stopped. I lost my 14 year old nephew Isaiah John Anderson May 9, 2015. The day before Mothers Day. He went to Wiley Middle School here in Winston Salem NC . The case is still under investigation for the time being. I hope justice is served for my sister’s sake. This is our face book website for bully awareness. Help us spread. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Keep-your-head-high-nomorebullies/1614434968807761?fref=ts

  • MaryAnne

    If these students had taken a stand against bullying while she was alive, there would’ve been no need to do a “walk out”; therefore no suspensions… the time to stand up to bullying is way past due, start now… don’t wait for another student to take their life. My condolences to her family, my prayers are with you for comfort & strength.

  • Anonymous

    I went to Evergreen middle school and students there bullied me because of my last name, Ho. I reported to the office and it got worse and students were saying I was a snitch and calling me a b*tch. The school didn’t do ANYTHING about it. It got to the point where I was begged my parents to change my last name and when they couldn’t, I ran away from everything.

  • Kristene

    Kids that bully come from broken homes. Hurt people hurt people. “It’s easier to build strong children than fix broken men”. Schools need more psychology interpersonal counsellors. 30 min counseling sessions should implemented into curriculum. Use football sports money for it if needed.

  • Katie Runyan

    Something that doesn’t make sense to me is when people try to be popular for their looks. What I’m saying is that they are trying to be popular just for their looks. Only what they really should do is try to be popular by what’s inside.

    Yeah maybe there’s that ugly girl in you’re class you’ve never met you think she might be mean but don’t base it on her look, base it on where her heart is at. Because some girls may be ugly and look like they aren’t friendly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t nice. Some girls might be really pretty but they might be snotty,stuck up and not nice like some girls are. Bullying because of clothing someone wears is ridiculous, selfish and just down right mean and cruel

    If you think that making fun of somebody because of what they wear is okay that is extremely ridiculous and mean that is bullying. Its fine you say they probably don’t care. When they ran away crying. Who do you think you are to be putting someone down like that? It isn’t like they don’t have feelings! They do have feelings and it should be you running away crying for what you did. Its not like you’re the king of the world and you know everything!

    Bullying is not okay!

  • Makenzie Wenger

    ive been through it and i was bullied and i can make a connection with her and i honestly wanted to kill myself to but i didnt my family and my friends wouldnt allow me to from that point on ive been hurt on the inside im still getting bullied but the things about it is there misrable with there own lives and thats why they bully people they take bullying as a joke and its not a joke and also when they realize there in trouble for bullying u get to bully them back and from this day on so many kids and people have commited suicide for being bullied i dont think bully is something people should do because yall wanna know something no ones perfect thats whypencils have erasers and everyone is beautiful and unique in the own way so if u wanna call someone one ugly or something do it to someone ur own size because yall just think ur funny really ur not and thats how u stand up for ur self and someone else when there getting bullied

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