London Community Rallies Against Suicides & Bullying - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

London Community Rallies Against Suicides & Bullying

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LONDON, Ohio -

A post on Facebook drew dozens of people to church in London Wednesday night. The message was simple: bullying has to stop, and some say the solutions start at home.

Dozens of parents and their kids filled Crossroads Community Church to talk about suicides and bullying.

"After being threatened to be beat up and all these people like Facebook messaged me, telling me to kill myself, I was just like, 'I'm done,'" said Courtney LeMaster, a victim of bullying.

LeMaster, 15, said her classmates didn't like one of her friends, and that's why she was tormented.

Tammy Chadwell also spoke about what her daughter went through at school.

"The boy threatened her, said he was going to come to our house, burn it down. He went to several of her friends to find out where we lived," she said.

Chadwell said her daughter was constantly bullied, yet school officials didn't come to her about the problem.

The ongoing problem of bullying was brought to the forefront of the community meeting in light of the suicide of 11-year-old Hailey Petee.

Parents said they've had enough.

"I live right inside the city limits. I should not have to bus my son to another school not to be bullied," said Kelly Maynard, a parent.

Pastor Thad Gifford said that an end to the bullying involves students, the school and parents.

"It takes a community to raise a child. It takes families working together," Gifford said.

Abbie Jones was one of Hailey's best friends.

"She was very, very beautiful," Jones said.

 She said she will now take a stand in Hailey's honor.

"I'm going to tell people that are bullying that it's not OK. Look what it's done to people," Jones said.

Many of the parents and kids at the meeting are counting their blessings.

"I thank God that I'm not Hailey's parents tonight. I could have been," Maynard said.

LeMaster, after a hospital stay, counseling, family, and friends, now lives to see many more days.

"Now I get to see myself turn 16. [Hailey] won't get to see herself turn 12, so it's like I'm going to live my life for her," LeMaster said.

Gifford said the church is going to do something about bullying, possibly in the form of a rally, but he wants parents and schools to step up as well.

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