On the morning of February 14th, (Valentine's Day), April
Himes was told by her Middle School; Go to school (where she had
been teased, harassed and taunted by classmates) or appear before a truancy
board and maybe go to "juvie" jail.
April made another choice.
An hour after the phone call with Carmichael Middle School, April
hung herself in her bedroom, leaving a devastated and grief stricken family
Grief was not all that April's community was left with, but questions
about how such a kind gentle girl could feel so hopeless in her pain, and
how could April be so forgotten by her school. Prior to her suicide,
April had missed 53 days of school and attempted suicide once before, using
pills. April's parents had found her counseling but without the harassment
ending at her school there was no resolving her basic problem, "bully peers".
School officials had been told what was going on with April and why she
was missing so much school but they were of no help.
April was no different than many other teenagers her age but she
was very tender hearted. Despite being of normal weight, April was teased
as if she were "fat" and having minor acne was another "flaw" harassers
verbally used to hurt her. Physical pushing by bullies only made
it worse. Physical abuse can hurt but adding emotional abuse can
cause depression. Depression is what killed April!
April enjoyed a good joke and had a wonderful sense of humor. She
was very active and enjoyed painting, skiing and roller-skating.
Animals were April's specialty and she had talked about becoming an animal
groomer. She had a special love for her pet bird, George, and George
loved her too, waiting for her to come home when she was gone from her
house. Soon after April died, George also died... of a broken heart.
April's mother would lovingly advise others
who are going through harassment at school to be sure and let their parent(s),
teachers, counselors, and School Principal know about the harassment.