The mother of an 11-year-old New Jersey girl who passed away days after attempting suicide in a middle school toilet said her daughter had endured constant bullying and had complained about it to the authorities.
The girl was unconscious in a toilet stall at Mount Holly’s F. W. Holbein School on February 6. According to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, she was away two days later.
Elaina LoAlbo, the girl’s mother, claimed that Felicia LoAlbo-Melendez had endured years of bullying.
Friday response requests went unanswered by LoAlbo, but she did tell NBC Philadelphia that her daughter was often made fun of by classmates.
“They called her a furry. She was not a furry. They called her gay. They called her straight. They called her bi. They called her all kinds of things.”
“My daughter was being tortured within the walls of that school,” she added.
LoAlbo claimed that the bullying continued despite Felicia and her mother’s worries.
According to the mother, she went to Holbein officials four times to report the bullying. According to NBC Philadelphia, her daughter wrote her school counselor around a dozen emails, the last of which came four days before she passed away.
“She’s telling her teachers. The teachers were witnesses to most of the bullying, physical altercations that were happening in classrooms and on school trips,” LoAlbo told NBC Philadelphia.
According to LoAlbo, the girl passed just two weeks after her father died from pancreatic cancer.
In a statement on March 29, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office claimed that their investigation,” which included a review of the school’s surveillance cameras, determined that she was alone in the restroom when this tragic action occurred. The investigation further determined that no foul play was involved.”
According to the prosecution, the mother’s request to watch the CCTV footage would be honored.
The Mount Holly Township School District, according to Robert Mungo, superintendent, worked with the prosecutor’s office on the investigation.
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“Our district suffered a loss, which continues to weigh heavily on the school community. School counselors and administrators, with the support of the Burlington County School Crisis Response Team, have and will continue to increase outreach to students and staff and are prepared to aid them in processing this latest information as they continue to grieve,” he said.
Mungo did not explicitly address the charges of bullying but stated that the district focuses on “strengthening our support system for students, especially regarding their social and emotional well-being” and is committed to “making our schools safe and secure for every student.”
According to LoAlbo, who spoke to NBC Philadelphia, she intends to file a lawsuit.
“My next steps will be so that no other parent has to fight like I do and no other child ever has to suffer like my daughter has,” she said.
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