Tell me again why I should be concerned that my children are not learning how to function in the "real world?"
"The family of a 10-year-old Illinois girl found hanging in her closet believes teasing and bullying by classmates drove the little girl to kill herself.
Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson said Tuesday that the final results of the autopsy on Ashlynn Conner won't be ready for some time but it appears she took her own life Friday night.
Ashlynn's family said she had been teased by children at Ridge Farm Elementary School and in her neighborhood in the small town for several years. Ridge Farm is about 45 miles southeast of Champaign.
"When she started cheering for youth football, we'd gotten her hair cut in a bob," Ashlynn's grandmother, Lory Hackney said. "The kids started making fun of her then. They started calling her a boy.'' Since then, she'd often been called fat or ugly, her family said.
Ashlynn was a fifth-grader at Ridge Farm and did well in school, her family said, making the honor roll in the most recent quarter. She talked about becoming a veterinarian when she grew up.
But she complained Thursday after school about other girls picking on her that day and asked if she could be home-schooled, her mother said at a candlelight service for her daughter at a local church. Conner said she told Ashlynn they'd talk to the school principal this week about the problem.
Conner said she heard her daughter on the phone with a friend Friday night talking about being teased. A half-hour later, Ashlynn's 14-year-old sister found her hanging in her bedroom closet, Conner said.
"I don't know what was so bad she couldn't wait," Hackney said. She's a retired nurse and tried to give her granddaughter CPR, she said."
"We were shocked ... we didn't know," 14-year-old Cheyenne's father tearfully said in an interview on the TODAY show Tuesday.
After their complaints to the school board reportedly went uninvestigated, the parents of the special needs student decided to hide a tape recorder in their daughter's clothes. What they captured left them upset -- and angry.
"Don't you want to do something about that belly?" teaching aide Kelly Chaffins said to Cheyenne, according to the recording.
"Yes," the girl responded.
"Well, evidently you don't because you don't do anything at home," Chaffins said. "You sit at home and watch TV."
In his emotional interview, Cheyenne's father told NBC's Ann Curry that his daughter started to react to the stress.
"She got to where she didn't want to go to school," he said. "She was ... starting to harm herself to keep from going to school and we knew we had to do something at that point."
After bringing the recordings to the school board, officials demanded that Chaffins resign. Chaffins subsequently announced her resignation while Christy Wilt, the classroom teacher, has been put on unpaid leave and ordered to undergo eight hours of training on how to stop child abuse. But these consequences aren't enough for the family's attorneys.
"There's no good solution, but we don't think that this teacher and this aide should be working with students, especially special needs students," one of the attorneys told Curry. "We would like her to be terminated."
Cheyenne's parents sued the school district and received $300,000 in damages."