Friday, April 22, 2011

Bullied Middle Schoolers, Paige Moravetz and Haylee Fentress, Take Lives In Suicide Pact

This from the Huffington Post:
Family members admit that the signs were there.

After repeatedly indicating that they were bullied and felt ostracized, Paige Moravetz and Haylee Fentress took their lives at a sleepover in what family members believe was a suicide pact.

Moravetz's cousin Hillary Settle tells the TODAY Show that Fentress had posted a telling status update directed at Moravetz on Facebook shortly before their deaths:

"I'm so nervous and I just want to get it over with. I love you, Paige."

The two eighth graders from southwestern Minnesota hanged themselves at a sleepover Friday night at Fentress' house. Her mother discovered their bodies Saturday morning, according to the TODAY Show.

Moravetz, a hockey star remembered for her big smile, and Fentress, a newcomer to Minnesota with a bubbly personality, were best friends.

Still, Fentress had sent her relatives Facebook messages describing how hard it was to have recently moved from Indiana, saying that she was sad and lonely. Those close to her say that she was teased about her weight and her red hair.

Settle tells the TODAY Show:

"Maybe we should have paid closer attention. Maybe everyone should have paid closer attention."...

23 comments:

Lynn Smith said...

It is a tragic situation when people take their own lives, especially when they are still kids. I see no reason as to why the school or these young girls parents could not have intervened with what the girls were struggling with. There seem to be an uprise in teen suicides as a result of bullying in recent years than there has ever been publicized in the past. I think that something should be started in the schools to stop bullying. Just telling people to be nicer to each other doesn't always work. However, if the situation is directly related to the students and the extremes of what could happen as a result of bullying is identified to students the amount of teen suicides and bullying could lower significantly. There is no reason for someone to commit suicide. If the parents noticed that something was wrong they should have stepped up and gotten help for their daughters instead of letting them suffer and the situation could have been prevented.

11029365 said...

I feel this is a wake up call in regards to how serious this bullying situation has become. People always say kids will be kids, but something has to be done. Its time for this to be addressed in an aggressive matter. Kids need to be taught the seriousness of bullying and shown what can happen if it is not stopped. Some bullying only has small impacts on people and others can scar someone for life. It depends on the person. So people never know who they are affecting or how. Adults and maybe even some students who have been effected need to get together and try to show others how this can end if something isn't done soon

901444231 said...

This is a terrible tragedy. Bullying is a huge problem in schools today, especially with the added anonimity of the internet. The loss of a child's life is always a tragedy, but when this tragedy could have been prevented it is even worse. As an educator, it is important to keep an eye out for signs of a student's depression or that they are struggling with major issues. I believe that more attention should be brought to the issue of bullying to help prevent this from happening again.

Rachel Kern said...

This story caught my eye immediately. When I read the title that included the words "Suicide Pact," I was astounded. I have never heard of this concept, and was very surprised that it even existed. As I read the story I was in disbelief. How could two girls make a pact to kill themselves when they were together? I was saddened when I discovered this story was true, and that, in fact, the girls really did commit suicide during a sleepover. Although, the two girls had legitimate reasons to be sad, I believe there is no reason great enough to take one's own life. I hope that this article raises awareness of suicides among teenagers so that parents can be more aware of their children's feelings. I believe if parents are more in-tune with their children's feelings and emotions, they could better prevent a tragedy like this from occurring again.

901377494 said...

It is so sad to see more and more of these types of instances reported in the news. As a future educator, I hope to do the absolute best I can to prevent this type of thing from occurring. Bullying is definitely a HUGE problem in today's society. With the internet access available to every child, cyber bullying has also now become a way to stay behind a curtain, so to speak, and bully from behind the scenes. Regardless of whether online or in person, bullying needs to be stopped. Although we cannot prevent all teasing from occurring, we must attempt to prevent any child from feeling that they must commit such an action. Teen suicides have increased tremendously in the past fifty years or so, and depression and bullying are definitely the top two contributors. Being close at heart to this situation due to the fact that one of my dear friends considered suicide at one point, I strongly feel that we as a nation must do something to help this problem. After all, each individual has a special role in the world we live in, and every life has meaning. We need to do something to encourage teens to seek help as well as make those around them aware of warning signs and ways to help them. Most of the time, everyone is simply too afraid to speak up. We must overcome this fear to prevent more and more teens from taking this devastating path.

Megan Shearer (901444706) said...

It's a shame to think that the people around these two young ladies saw the signs and believed that something was going on. The most depressing part is the fact that this could have been prevented. If only someone had spoken up for the young girls or was there for them when they needed a helping hand the most. Our Educational System today really needs to take into account the amount and effect that bullying has on these young individuals. School systems need a more reliable way of helping out this young individuals who feel has if there is nowhere else to turn. My heart goes out to the families and friends of the young girls. May we learn a lesson form our mistakes and faults.

Melinda Kelley said...

This story makes me extremely sad. I've always heard about suicide pacts from high school age kids. I never imagined that it could happen at this young of age. I think that if the family saw warning signs, they should have addressed it immediately. Also, this is another situation where bullying has driven someone to kill themselves. Everyone, not only schools, should step up to eliminate bullying. This is a very tragic story, and I hope it opens more eyes to the issue of bullying and suicide.

901387598 said...

This story makes me really sad to think that students like these girls are tortured in school everyday. It goes fairly unnoticed amongst teachers and others. In the school I went to bullying was never this harsh, that I knew of. We definitely never had a suicide or pact with students at a young age. The age is what makes it worse. They were at such a young age and already they felt overwhelmed with their lives that they didn't even want to be in this world anymore. I feel horrible for their families and I wish someone would have caught and stopped what was going on before it escalated this far. Maybe today they could still be walking the halls of their schools if people could only accept them. I wish they would have sought help from anybody around them.

Amelia Shew said...

This story was automatically an eye catcher. The rise of bullying in schools is something that needs to be immediately stopped. Although different campaigns such as NOH8, stopbullying.gov, and Nickelodeon even has their own campaign, it is obviously not directly helping the problem. The bullying in schools needs to be targeted, and fast. I understand that teachers are busy, but they need to keep an extra close eye on students to watch for bullying and signs of depression. I also think that counseling should be readily available and advertised in the school systems, and that the seriousness of suicide is a topic that should not be looked over. I think it is in our nation's hopes that this epidemic be stopped, and fast.

Vanessa_McQueen (901398318) said...

This is very tragic. I've noticed as times have been getting harder for adults the pressure is also increased on children and young adults. Teen suicide is on the rise. There is even a day of remembrance "to write love on our arms," held for the many teens that have taken their own lives. It is a problem and it needs to be addressed. Yes, I agree that closer attention should have been paid. This is not only disturbing by the fact that these teens took their own lives, but it is disturbing that they did it together. Normally one would think that if a teen has a best friend that at least they have the sole support of one person who will hear them out and care about their issues. This is thought to help keep teens from considering suicide; however, in this case it possibly gave them strength to go through with it. It is sad when a teen feels so unappreciated that they want to take themselves away from life, as if it were better for them to never of existed. It is worse when best friends feel this way together. What is the root of this issue? Where did it start? Why do teens feel this way? Is there something that can be done that has been proven to prevent this? If so, What is it? What steps are being taken to implement it? How many schools, districts or states is it reaching? These are the questions that I ask.

901240292 said...

This was one of the most shocking things that I have read in quite some time. 901377494 makes a great point. Maybe the answer is not trying to end bullying, but focusing more on trying to prevent a situation like this. I for one do not believe that the problem of bullying will ever be solved. Although I am all for raising awareness with students on how bullying can affect others, I feel that the school faculty could be more educated on how to deal with situations such as these. Kids will be kids, bullies will be bullies. It is up to the responsible adults that surround them to be able to effectively contain the outcome. This post is in no way meant to point the finger at anyone, but as future educators and educators reading this site I feel that it is up to us to stop devastating things like this from happening.

Tricia Bode said...

I think this story is absolutely tragic. I always hate reading stories in which students have been bullied to the point where they want to take their own life. As a future teacher, I hope to put an end to this kind of torture. If students see the results of their actions before they occur. By preventing the actions in the first place, a student will be surrounded by a safer environment. I hope everyone who reads this story opens their eyes to the reality of this pain and suffering rather than ignoring the fact that it happens.

Leslie Walter said...

When I came across the title of this article, I was immediately intrigued. A suicide pact? I couldn't believe it. I was also taken aback by the fact that the parents said they knew something was up, but did nothing to really stop it. The girls said they were being bullied at school and that was the cause of the suicide. Bullying is something that can easily be prevented. The teachers and the school officials need to be aware and take the necessary actions to stop bullying! It is so sad that two young girls took their lives all because of other people and the way they treated them. Bullying is serious and it needs to be taken into consideration that way as well.

Sara Kuhse said...

Just another prime example of how bullying has pushed kids to the limit. I can't count the number of times I've heard people say that this "bullying problem isn't that big a deal". I think that any child that is pushed to the breaking point where they want to take their own lives is a big deal. It's a problem that needs to be dealt with fast. Teenage girls should be watching movies, having pillow fights, or talking about boys. Not plotting to kill themselves. How far are we going to let this problem go?

Brandi Woods said...

It is so terrible that any teen has to go through this. Although it is always devastating when a life is lost but it makes it even worse when there were obvious signs that these two teenage girls were severely unhappy. Bullying has become such a huge problem in recent years and has made such an incredible impact on my generation of students as well as younger generations. There needs to be more awareness of bullying and more interaction between parents and their kids as well as teachers and their students. Bullying seminars need to be held at schools to teach students how horribly it can impact another student. Also, students should be taught how to deal with their problems in a healthy manner and be able to help others or recognize the signs of bullying so that every other student can take action and take a stand against bullying.

Tonia Middleton said...

I am extremely saddened by this report and especially since the signs of bullying were evident. Almost always the signs of bullying aren't noticed because the victims rarely report abuse. According to statistics, every seven minutes a child is bullied and 85% of the time no one is there to intervene. There is no reason why this couldn't have been prevented. The hardest part for a victim is telling someone about being bullied and these poor girls had already done that part. Education and adult involvement is the first and most vitale defense against bullying in schools. I can't imagine how devastating the death of a child would be especially under these circumstances but someone dropped the ball big time. If a child actually reports abuse please follow up on it and make sure something like this doesn't happen. I don't know if I would ever get over feeling partially responsible for the death of my child. That would be a daily struggle and burden for the rest of my life.

Sherra Chamberlin (901394646) said...

It's so disheartening to see things like this happen. Bullying has become so prominent in today's schools. I believe that there is a fine line between being intrusive and being the protector and parents and teachers alike must step up and become the protector. We not only take on the job of being the educator, but we also take on the task of becoming the "at school parent." I firmly believe that this would be helped if children were watched more carefully in the halls. Just like Dr. Day has said before...we have to have the "withitness" to watch the children.

Katherine Holder said...

I think that these situations are very tragic and something has to be done about bullying the schools. As said in the article that family members saw the signs that these two teenagers were being bullied and nothing was done about it. When the post was placed on facebook, I feel that somebody had to have seen it and something should have been done to prevent it. After reading the story, it makes me recall back to when I was in middle school and one of my classmates took his own life due to the stresses of his family living situations and the stresses of everyday life and school life. I feel that these two stories are intertwined because in both of situations the students attending a public school alongside other students should have sparked attention among peers and teachers and something should have been done to prevent this by stopping the bullying before it reached this level.

Rachel Evans (901394859) said...

It is very hard and sad to read something like this. How can something of this nature happen whenever these children showed signs of depression and even had sent their family members messages saying they were "sad and lonely"? Why is it that no one reached out to the parents and tried to make a difference within these ladies lives? It is also very sad that these students had their whole life ahead of them and together could have over came the struggles they were facing. It is almost hard to impossible to say where the blame should be placed for situations like this but one has to think as educators what can we do to prevent this situation from repeating itself in the future? I understand that there are many times within the school day where bulling can and will take place but we must make an effort to stop this whenever it comes to our attention and to also make it well known that we have a zero tolerance for bulling of any kind.

anna spurlock said...

Reading this story is such a tragedy and to think that is was because of bullying. I think that harsher punishment for bullying should be in place. I wonder if anyone at the school was aware of the bullying and if so had they done anything to intervene. I hope that out of this horrific tragedy that some good will arise.

plus tax said...

This story is among many others that is very sad and hard to read. Often times we do not know what is going on between kids in school because they are too embarrased to say something or afraid they will be bullied even more. I believe educators need to step in on these kind of situations as soon as they hear about them. You never know when you could make an empact in a child's life or save them from taking their life. When students are caught bullying others they should have consequences and if they do it again they need harsher consequences. Thses are lives we are dealing with, not just feelings.

Taylor Covington said...

This story is among others that is very sad and hard to read. Often times parents and educators do no know that kids are being bullied because they are too embarassed to say something or are afraid others will think they are "tattle tails". When a teacher first hears of a situation where a child is being bullied they should steo in and solve the situation. By doing this they could be saving a child'd life. Also, those who bully should have consequences for their actions. They aren't just toying around with someone's emotions, but their life.

Kandyce Montgomery 901430337 said...

In response....

Bullying is a huge issue in the school system. Although I believe that parents, teachers, or friends would be able to tell if these two girls were not acting like themselves. If these girls were hurt so bad from bullying to even consider suicide, then there had to be some obvious signs that something was not right with them. Bullying should be taken very serious in school systems and students should be educated on what bullying can to do someone and how it affects other peoples lives.