Family blames bullying in 10-year-old girl's suicide

7:07 AM, Nov 14, 2011   |    comments
Ashlynn Conner
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RIDGE FARM, Ill. (CBS) - The family of a 10-year-old girl in east central Illinois says intense bullying caused the fifth-grader to kill herself late last week.

Two weeks ago, Ashlynn Conner told her mom she was being bullied at Ridge Farm Elementary School, where she was an honor student. She was also being bullied in the neighborhood.

But the girl's mother says she never expected her daughter would take her own life.

"I thought my kids are strong kids, and that my words for them for guidance and advice was going to have more weight than what these kids could be saying," Stacy Conner told WCIA-TV on Sunday.

Ashlynn on Thursday asked her mother if she could be home-schooled, but the parent said no. The next day, the honor student hanged herself in a closet by using a scarf. A sibling found her.

The girl's family is hoping their story will help other children who may be struggling to cope with bullies.

"I don't know what it's going to take to stop it, but no child should ever have to feel like they have to kill themselves to stop that kind of pain," Stacy Conner says.

In a news release, Ashlynn's school district said counseling will be available Monday for students. A visitation was planned for Tuesday.

Ridge Farm is about 40 miles southeast of the University of Illinois campus at Champaign-Urbana.

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