Indiana parents sue district over alleged bullying after daughter attempted suicide twice

The parents say bullying contributed to the girl's developing suicidal thoughts. She allegedly told an adult that "going to Heaven would cure her autism."

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By Ben Kesslen

The parents of a girl with disabilities are suing her Indiana school district for allegedly failing to do enough to protect her from bullying that they say made her suicidal.

The complaint, filed in the Southern District Court of Indiana, says that despite attempts by the parents to communicate their now-14-year-old daughter's difficulties at school, Franklin Community School Corp. did not take action to stop other students' alleged harassment of her.

NBC News was unable to immediately reach the school district for comment.

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The mother, identified as R.T., said in the lawsuit that her daughter, identified as R.N., has autism, ADHD and depression, and was harassed because of her disabilities.

The bullying, the suit alleges, went on for years in elementary and middle school, and was “so severe and pervasive that it created a hostile environment that deprived R.N. of access to their educational programs, activities and opportunities.”

The lawsuit says it seeks to hold the district in Franklin, Indiana, about 20 miles south of Indianapolis, accountable for inaction, discrimination and “deliberate indifference” toward their daughter.

“R.N. became so depressed that she developed suicidal thoughts, at one point telling an adult that she believed that going to Heaven would cure her autism,” the court documents allege.

The plaintiffs said that their daughter loved school before the bullying began, but that they now “feel as if we are sending our child off to a war zone” every day when they send her to school.

The parents say their daughter attempted suicide twice, in the spring of 2017 and the spring of 2018.

The complaint says that when the girl’s parents told her school about her attempt to kill herself and her suicide note, the school said their daughter “had written the note for attention.”