Friends and family of Hailey Petee gathered at The Church of Christ in Christian Union in London Wednesday to remember the 11-year-old girl who took her own life over the weekend. Her family called London Police after finding her body early Sunday morning.
During the visitation, friends and family shared hugs and stories about a little girl tormented by bullying on her London Elementary School bus.
Keighlee Pollock met Hailey this school year and said she was a good friend.
"I was at home I woke up and was going to call my friend. This happened to my brother two years ago. And my stepdad was like, 'Remember how we were talking about your brother?' And I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'Hailey died,'" said Keighlee through tears.
The family believes their daughter took her own life because she couldn't take being bullied any longer. Her mother, Melinda Groce said she pleaded with London City Schools to do something. Even after her bus was changed, Melinda said Hailey endured teasing about her glasses and ADHD.
"Sometimes she took it hard and then sometimes she just stood up and just left it alone," said Keighlee.
Some former students who are now homeschooled tells NBC4 that bullying is rampant in the district. Teachers and staff doing nothing to protect victims.
"It's ridiculous how they can handle some people about bullying and then not others. I seen a kid get bullied and her barely did anything and he got detention. It's been ridiculous. The bullying just needs to stop," said family friend Pamilla Pollock.
"I remember how she was so sweet and so nice and she was just outgoing in everything. Everything about her was sweet. She had a really good heart," remembers Courtney Burke.
community is invited to a public discussion about bullying set for 7
p.m. at Crossroads Community Church of Madison County Wednesday. It's
located at 62 E. Second St. in London.
Family and friends say something needs to be done to stop bullying before another life is lost.
"If you're being bullied don't think taking your own life is the right thing to do. Just talk to somebody about it and they can help you," said Keighlee.