A couple in Fairfield Township, Ohio said their 13-year-old daughter was driven to suicide by racist bullying from classmates, and is considering legal action against her school district, WCPO-TV reported.
“I want to believe them,” Mark Olsen said. “I spoke to the principal this morning. He called me back. I believe what he told me. However, I’m getting conflicting stories. I believe that there’s something more to it, and that’s what I want to find out.”
Olsen’s adopted daughter, Emilie Grace Olsen, shot and killed herself late last week. Mark Olsen and his wife, Cindy, adopted the girl, who was born in China, in 2002. Police are currently investigating her death.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that, according to police, Emilie Olsen left no suicide note. Text messages she sent before she committed suicide gave no indication that she was planning to kill herself.
“There have been a lot of rumors on social media of bullying, but we haven’t found anything,” Police Chief Matt Fruchey said. “She was apparently a good student who had lots of friends.”
But both the girl’s parents and local school officials have said that she had been bullied as a sixth-grader at Fairfield Intermediate School.
“When she walked into her classroom, she told me the kids would call her names and try to trip her,” Cindy Olsen said. “I said, ‘How do you handle that?’ she just said, ‘I just keep walking and go to my desk.’ So then we go to seventh grade and some of those kids are still there, but now there’s even more of them calling her names, being mean to her.”
Gina Gentry-Fletcher, a spokesperson for the Fairfield City Schools district, said they had been made aware of the incidents after Olsen enrolled as a seventh-grader at Fairfield Middle School.
“However, the district believed the issue had been resolved to the complete satisfaction of the family,” Gentry-Fletcher said.
The Hamilton Journal News reported that Emilie Olsen was allowed to change her class schedule this year after being placed in classes with students that had bullied her. Fairfield City Schools reported 30 incidents of bullying during the last school year.
“I’m not looking for a witch hunt,” Mark Olsen said. “I’m speaking up for her because she can’t do that now. She’s over in a funeral home in downtown Hamilton. I need to do this. This is my job. I’m not going to fail her again.”
Watch WCPO’s report, as aired on Monday, below.