Girl Survives Cancer, Can’t Survive Middle School Bullies

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Bre Williams, Staff Reporter

Bethany Thompson, an eleven-year-old Ohio girl that battled cancer, killed herself on October 19.

Bethany was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, with symptoms caused by a brain tumor, and went through numerous radiation treatments. Nerve damage caused her smile to change. After she defeated cancer Bethany was being bullied because of the nerve damage in her face and for her curly hair. Kids at school would tease and make fun of her because of this.

On October 19, Bethany was having a rough day at school that Wednesday, and she told her best friend that she was going to take her life that day. After school the friend tried to inform Bethany’s parents, but by then it was too late. Bethany had gone home that evening and took her life with a handgun she found around the house. According to Abc7 news, Bethany’s father, Paul Thompson, was asleep in the other room during the incident.

Bethany attended Triad Middle School as a sixth grader. The school said they were aware of the bullying problem. This was confirmed by Chris Piper, the school’s district superintendent. According to Abc7 TV news report, Piper said in a statement that “Last school year, district officials investigated a complaint raised by the students and appropriately resolved the same. As many schools schools are doing across the country.”

North Lewisburg United Methodist church held a fundraiser that Sunday to help Bethany’s family with the funeral cost, nearly 400 people attended this fundraiser and raised over $5,500 and in addition to $2,000 in donations for the funeral. The family also plans to use some of the money for a scholarship fund in Bethany’s name to raise anti-bullying awareness.