TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - As a matter of policy, WLFI, WANE's sister station, does not cover suicides. Numerous studies point to a potential "copycat effect" following media coverage of suicides. But when the mother of a 14-year-old girl who took her own life due to bullying reached out to us, we had to tell her story.
Danielle Green's daughter hanged herself from a tree outside the family's mobile home park on March 8.
"Dear eighth grade. Why did I deserve this pain?" Danielle Green reads a note written by her daughter.
It's a note Danielle says she might have never found if it weren't for bullying.
Danielle's 14-year-old daughter Angel was an eighth grader at Battle Ground Middle School, where Danielle says every day was a constant battle with bullies.
"They would tell her that she was a whore, she was worthless, in front of everybody in her class," Danielle said. "They told her to go die because nobody would care about her."
"I'm so sorry I wasn't good enough for you, or for this school," Danielle read more of the note from her daughter.
Danielle says the bullying started on Feb. 28 of 2012. She says Angel's father was put in jail for molesting her, and when the private matter went public, the teasing began.
"It was in the newspaper," Danielle said. "It was in the newspaper – it didn't take long for people to put two and two together."
WLFI-News 18 reached out to the Journal and Courier about the article, but the newspaper declined giving a comment.
" Sorry I wasn't perfect. Sorry I wasn't pretty. Sorry I was fat. Sorry I came into this world," Danielle reads her daughter's words.
Danielle says Angel was in the principal's office almost every day asking for help after the article was published, but that help never came. In fact, Danielle says the day of Angel's death, she heard the bullying continue.
"One boy came up and said, 'Yeah, I laughed about (Angel's suicide) when I heard it,'" Danielle recounted.
WLFI-News 18 repeatedly reached out to Battle Ground Middle School Principal BeAnn Younker for comment but our calls were not returned.
Tippecanoe School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Scott Hanback says the school is conducting its own internal investigation. Our repeated phone calls to Hanback were not returned.
Monday, Hanback issued a statement saying:
"We will be interested in blending the information from the sheriff's department investigation with our internal review to see if anything can be brought to light about what schools, families or communities can do in the future to prevent tragic events like this from happening again."
"I'm so sick of being called ugly, fat, stupid, worthless," Danielle reads more of her daughter's note.
Danielle says Angel wrote several other letters, some of which name her bullies. She says those letters have been turned over to the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office for investigation.
Chief Deputy Charlie Williams says that investigation could take several weeks to complete.
Although the sheriff's office did not say bullying was not a factor, Williams said charges will not be filed against bullies in this case. He did say he wants everyone to know bullying is serious. He also pointed out in certain cases, bullies could face criminal charges.
"It's always up to the prosecutor. Always. We gather the facts, gather a case, investigate it thoroughly, and then we present it to the prosecutor," Williams said. "The prosecutor would make that decision."
"I feel like this is all I have left of my daughter," Danielle said about the note she read to us.
While Danielle continues to hold on to what's left of her daughter, she says she's hoping to change the way Tippecanoe County residents look at bullying. She says that's what Angel wanted.
"In one of the letters she said that something had to be changed. She begged that they wouldn't bully somebody else," Danielle said.
Danielle says she hopes the bullies understand the pain they inflict on others for a moment can last a lifetime.
"Shame on them. Shame on them for what they did. I have to live a lifetime without my daughter. I won't be able to see her go to prom, get married, have children. I was robbed," Danielle said. "My daughter was robbed."
Sheriff Tracy Brown told News 18 Thursday evening that investigators are not ready to release their findings but have determined no criminal act occurred.
But Danielle says investigators told her that the case is closed and bullying is not a factor. She says earlier this week she was given back the property from the case, including a number of Angel's notes which detail the bullying.
"They had said that it wasn't a factor, that bullying wasn't a factor in this case. That's what they had told me," Danielle says.
She disagrees with the Sheriff's statement, saying that the investigators are telling her that bullying isn't a factor in her daughter's suicide.
"Yeah, that's what they are telling me. But, in her letters, all say the same thing and I don't see how,"
A Facebook page called "Kids Rallying Against Bullying" has been created in honor of Angel.
Danielle says she's also working to raise awareness and put together several fundraisers.
WLFI-News 18 will continue to tell the story of Angel Green as the investigation continues.
You can find other resources for bullying in our special Eye on Kids bullying section.
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