Girl found hanged in park was bullied before death, mother claims

DWQA QuestionsCategory: QuestionsGirl found hanged in park was bullied before death, mother claims
Isobel Mortimer asked 2 months ago

A thirteen-year-old girl was tragically found hanged in a park where she used to build dens with her brother after viewing social media sites which ‘trivialised’ suicide, her mother has claimed.Alyssa Morris was found in Brungerley Park in Clitheroe, Lancashire five days short of her 14th birthday after mental health struggles and ‘social anxieties’, an inquest heard.According to her mother she had been bullied relentlessly at school, including being beaten up as well as being targeted online.She is now urging parents to beware the potential harms from social media and online bullying, warning that children are ‘consumed by phones and social media’.Life-saving procedures were attempted but Alyssa was pronounced dead later that day, February 12. 13-year-old Alyssa had reportedly discussed ending her life in the months before her death 13-year-old Alyssa had reportedly discussed ending her life in the months before her death Alyssa was described as 'funny, beautiful, very clever' and planned to work with animals Alyssa was described as ‘funny, beautiful, very clever’ and planned to work with animalsCoroner Richard Taylor told the hearing that a note from Alyssa ‘doesn’t give any explanation’ for her actions, and recorded a conclusion of suicide.But afterwards her mother, Kathleen Firth said she was convinced that Alyssa had taken her life because of ‘a combination of three things: bullying, social media and Covid’.’They created a perfect storm of circumstances that my little girl just couldn’t overcome,’ she added.She alleged that bullies beat Alyssa up at a bus stop but that police failed to take a statement, forcing Ms Firth to turn detective and seek CCTV footage herself.And she hit out at social media platforms, claiming the use of the term ‘unalive’ instead of ‘suicide’ had the effect of ‘trivialising’ death for vulnerable young users.Described as ‘funny, beautiful, very clever’, Alyssa loved musicals – especially Hamilton – and loved drawing, and she had ambitions to work with animals and the RSPCA.According to her mother, she had no problems at primary school, but struggled after starting secondary school in 2020 – partly due to Covid requirements which saw pupils taught in ‘bubbles’.The hearing in Accrington was told that Alyssa began displaying ‘social anxieties’ and had self-harmed by cutting her arms.Her mother suspected she was autistic, the hearing was told, although it was never formally diagnosed, and Alyssa became ‘upset’ when she sought medical help.’Alyssa wasn’t comfortable discussing issues in front of people,’ she told the inquest.’I could see instantly she was withdrawing from the conversation.’She said she had spoken to Alyssa’s school about her issues, but had been made to feel ‘silly’, and believed they had been made worse by Covid.Ms Firth had referred her daughter to a GP but there had been no formal diagnosis of autism.She said Alyssa turned to drawing, using a journal and ‘her behaviour seemed more positive’.Alyssa also started at a new school in Blackburn and seemed ‘very positive’, Ms Firth said.The inquest heard how Alyssa had discussed taking her own life in online chat with two friends and had also looked into a suicide technique.But in the days before her death her mother hadn’t noticed ‘anything unusual’.’She had seemed so positive over the previous months,’ Ms Firth said in her statement to the hearing.’This was such a shock because there was nothing to suggest anything would happen.’She was found in a secluded area of the park where she walked the family dog and had built dens with her brother.In a statement after the hearing, Ms Firth said her daughter’s mental health struggles started in Year 7 when ‘bullies and Covid restrictions took my daughter’s soul away and impacted her mental health’.’False rumours circulated around school with misinterpreted videos,’ she said.’Thanks to phones and social media it didn’t just consume her school life, but it intruded into her home life too.’Despite moving school, penipu bullying continued there and from previous classmates via social media, she claimed.During one incident, in July 2022, Alyssa had been badly attacked at a bus stop by other children and it was reported to police, according to Ms Firth.But she alleged that despite attending a police station, no-one took a statement from her.By last September the bullying had stopped and Alyssa appeared to be ‘thriving’ after starting Year 9, she added. Bullying reportedly continued after Alyssa moved schools, from old and new classmates Bullying reportedly continued after Alyssa moved schools, from old and new classmates Alyssa's mother attributed her daughter's death to bullying, Covid and social media Alyssa’s mother attributed her daughter’s death to bullying, Covid and social mediaMs Firth accused social media platforms of trivialising suicide, saying she believed videos and content that Alyssa saw before she died ‘failed to make her understand the severity of her actions’.’Did she really understand the repercussions of what she was doing?’ she asked.Ms Firth said she was speaking out to raise awareness of the potential harms from social media and online bullying.The schools Alyssa attended were not given at the hearing, and no-one from Lancashire Police or medical professionals who assessed her gave evidence.The force said it was looking into Alyssa’s mother’s claims.For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit samaritans.org