Boulder teen’s death sparks Utah suicide row

Image copyright Reuters Image caption A funeral was held for the 13-year-old girl earlier this week. The family of the girl, Madison, say she was bullied

As several cases of apparent self-inflicted deaths by teenagers continue, one Utah family is facing intense scrutiny over their account of the death of their daughter – who they say was bullied by boys in her school.

The family of 13-year-old Madison Gurley says she killed herself after being bullied for months by three boys.

Their stories have outraged many Utahns who say there was no indication the children should be singled out as having bullied a teenager.

The school district is investigating

It’s taken more than a week for the Utah school district that held Madison’s memorial service to actually release any kind of information about the way the 13-year-old girl died.

Police say no bullying was involved in her death, and her parents say they learned of Madison’s death from news reports, which say that the teenager told her family she had taken her own life because she was being bullied.

The family’s lawyer has released what he said was the school’s original report in which Madison was described as the “child on campus who was most often been reported to the office.”

No one has been prosecuted

Although the Jordan School District said it would follow up on the initial report, it released an updated version of the incident without any mention of bullying.

The second, separate report, said the family had filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking for all the evidence, including a search warrant affidavit, so it could investigate further.

Following protests and outrage, the district released the third, which said Madison’s death was “caused by natural causes involving a cardio-respiratory arrest.”

Now a judge has ordered the family to release the surveillance video from Madison’s school, Cottonwood Heights Middle School, to police who are investigating.

Backlash intensifies

The family is now under investigation by police.

No charges have been filed, but the outcry and accusations that the family is over-reacting have grown.

Some parents in Madison’s school have started an online petition against the family’s claims, saying the family should be allowed to grieve in peace.

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