Parents reveal bullying torment of suicide girl is revealed Parents release girl's account of bullying

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The Independent Online

The parents of a 13-year-old girl who killed herself in a suicide pact with a friend yesterday released a 1,500-word letter found in her bedroom in which she wrote of her anguish at being bullied.

The parents of a 13-year-old girl who killed herself in a suicide pact with a friend yesterday released a 1,500-word letter found in her bedroom in which she wrote of her anguish at being bullied.

Yvonne and Michael Rhodes made the letter public on the day of their daughter Laura's funeral in an effort to highlight the emotional agony that she suffered.

Laura, from Cimla, near Neath, south Wales, was took a suspected prescription drugs overdose at the family home on 4 September. Her best friend, Rebecca Ling, 14, had also taken an overdose with Laura but was found alive and has recovered.

A coroner's investigation has begun into Laura's death, but her parents are angry that police initially ruled out bullying as a factor in their daughter's suicide.

Mr and Mrs Rhodes said: "The reason that we want people to read Laura's story is that we want them to understand how demoralised, belittled, and helpless a bullied child feels.

"Laura could never have known that this letter could help another child because she wrote it to try to exorcise her ghosts following her bad experience.

"She would never have imagined that anyone other than her family would be interested. We hope they are."

They say that Laura was bullied relentlessly at the Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School, Neath. Extracts from the letter describe how she would lie in bed wishing she did not have to leave the house and how she tried to harm herself as the bullying became unbearable.

The letter describes the daily cruelty that Laura was forced to endure in the form of taunts and insults about her size from her schoolmates.

As she put on weight, she describes herself as "fat, ugly and worthless". At school, the bullying went on all day, she wrote.

She added: "I moved through the people trying to ignore the nasty comments: 'Oh my God look at the sight of her.' 'Yeah I know, she's a dyke too.' I had this every morning, lunchtime and the end of the day."

Laura also describes her frustration and anguish at the failure of those around her to believe that she is being bullied or to take her fears seriously.

The letter concludes with a graphic description of an attempt at slashing her wrists at home after a day at school. "I took out the scissors, I knew what I was doing, maybe this would show them what they were doing.

"I dragged it over my wrists a few times, the next few times pressing harder. It felt really good. It hurt, but I pressed harder, shit. There was a mark, a deep red one, what can I do?"

Eventually, Laura moved from the school to a local pupil referral unit, but she was unable to escape her feelings of self-loathing.Her parents found the two girls after they had taken an apparent overdose but Laura died later in hospital.

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