Toni Rivers, 11, a South Carolina girl committed suicide because she was bullied.
Toni confided to friends that “she just couldn’t do this anymore, and she was going home, and she was killing herself,” the family said.
The sixth-grader returned home Oct. 25 from her Hampton County School District elementary school and shot herself. Her 14-year-old sister called 911 after she found her lying on her back with a gunshot wound.
Authorities airlifted Toni to Charleston’s Medical University of South Carolina Health, where she received treatment for 72 hours before dying from her injuries.
Initially, relatives thought the shooting was an accident since the gun was her own.
“We go out to Toni’s home in the country thinking that there’d been an accident, you know?” her aunt Maria Petersen said. “And when we get there, we find out that it wasn’t an accident, and it was the result of Toni not being able to handle it anymore.”
Her mom, Amy Thomas, said she had contacted the school for about two months before her death to report the bullying. Friends and family are now calling on the school district to confront bullying.
A GoFundMe page was created to raise money for her funeral and to help other victims of bullying.
“Toni’s family has lost a beautiful soul and the most infuriating part is that this could have been prevented,” the GoFundMe said. “We have to ban together to make sure we start protecting our children today.”
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