An 11-year-old elementary school student from Highland-Goffes Falls School in Manchester, New Hampshire took her own life Wednesday after being bullied for months. She’d graduated from the 5th grade just two weeks ago.
Skylar Desmarais's family, including her stepmother Hope Shafer, said the bullying was consistent in and out of school.
“She was told on the bus that if they looked like her that they would kill themselves,” Shafer said. “Text messages. An app called musically. And it just wouldn’t stop. She would ask them to leave her alone and to just stop and they wouldn’t.”
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Family says she was found by a family member in her father's Pittsfield home.
“I’ll never see her singing again or dancing around my house. Curled up on the couch with my son watching movies,” said Shafer.
The fifth grader recently came out as gay, causing the bullying to intensify. It landed her in the hospital twice. The school wanted to investigate but didn’t upon Skylar's request.
“Sky told them no because she didn’t want anyone to get in trouble,” Shafer said.
Skylar was scheduled to go to church camp this Sunday. The family has a message for anyone unaware of the lasting impacts of bullying.
“The words that you say, that are good or bad, they leave an impression," Shafer said. "They make a mark. And when you’re continuously mean to somebody it changes their view on themselves."
SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.