Brooklyn Marie Brehm was a 12-year-old girl from Redmond, Oregon, who took her own life after she was constantly being shamed and bullied for her weight by one boy at Elton Gregory Middle School.
Even though the girl had made complaints about the bullying, neither her teacher nor the school took the matters seriously. Brehm’s mother, Maranda Riboli, has now decided to sue the school district, the teacher, and the school principal for $12 million in damages and $35,000 for the funeral expenses. According to the mother, her daughter’s decision was a “direct result of Redmond School District’s deliberate indifference” to the girl’s complaints.
The mother had sent numerous emails to the school and she even met with Brehm’s teacher to tell her the effect that all the shaming and bullying have on her daughter. She was initially concerned that the bullying affected her daughter’s studies, as her grades were dropping, but the girl took her own life just two months after the mother sent out those emails to her school. So, the mother was aware and highlighted the issue, but, according to her, the school did not follow its own protocol on dealing with bullying, and the teacher did not notify the principal of what was going on.
As reported by The Oregonian, Brehm’s lifeless body was found by her older sister at their home, and she had left notes that said she took her own life “because of this boy”. Metro has reported that the girl made that decision due to the relentless bullying by a boy who said many hurtful things. Riboli and her lawyer said in the lawsuit that this boy had “regularly and frequently fat-shamed the 12-year-old girl and called her names”.
To add to that, the boy had also made fun of Brehm over a crush she had, and he, reportedly, told her that the boy she liked would never like her because she was overweight. The report also says that the boy told her that “she should take her own life because she was a waste of space and no boy would ever like her”. Allegedly, the school failed to launch any investigation into the case, and the bullying became so severe that it led to serious emotional distress and trauma.
The Redmond School District said in a statement that they were shocked and saddened by the passing of one of its students. The school district’s policy bans harassment, intimidation, bullying, menacing, and any acts of cyberbullying by students, staff, and third parties towards students, and a student who violates this policy is subjected to discipline, including expulsion.