After a 12-year-old Brooklyn girl killed herself, her mother is speaking out against her peers and her school.
Last week, Mercedes Herrera found her daughter Maria near death in her bedroom closet. Maria, who had tied a belt around her neck, died shortly thereafter at Brookdale Hospital. Initial reports of Herrera's death noted that she was upset that her stepfather wouldn't let her visit a friend, but her mother detailed her classmates' cruel behavior.
Mercedes Herrera said she visited PS 72 East New York more than 20 times to complain about persistent bullying. She said her daughter was not only beaten up, but "they used to harass her, curse at her, call her 'train tracks' because she had braces, they used to cut her hair. I went to the school, they didn't do nothing about it."
The Department of Education said, "This situation is a tragedy, but there is no record that this student had been a victim of persistent bullying or that her parents had complained about persistent bullying at the school." Classmates left notes at Maria's memorial such as, "I am sorry" and "We won't bother you."
Her parents may pursue legal action. And Assembly members have sponsored a bill for anti-bullying legislation, but it has never passed.