It was Valentine's Day. A day when most young girls should be happy--when they should be thinking about nice things that might happen to them on such a special day.
But for April Himes, Valentine's Day was one more day to dread. One more day of going to a school that she hated. April was a beautiful and bright 8th grader, but was bullied incessantly at school. She was constantly subjected to unwarranted and unprovoked taunts, remarks, and physical abuse. And she could not take it any longer.
April did not want to go to school (who would under those circumstances). She was horrified about the incessant bullying-and she had already missed over 50 days of school because of it. But instead of receiving help from the school administrators, she received an impertinent, thoughtless, ignorant, irresponsible, patronizing, and cruel call on Valentine's Day from the school. She was told to come to school immediately or appear before a truancy board and risk going to juvenile hall.
It was more than this precious angel could bear.
Shortly after receiving the phone call, April hanged herself in her bedroom.
April was 13 years old.
April's parents were great parents to her, and they did everything that they could to help her. They informed school administrators about the bullying, they got counseling for her, and they talked with April about what was happening and tried to comfort her and help her in every way.
But this precious young girl was suffering from very serious depression because of the bullying. And I cannot imagine anyone in her shoes who would not have suffered from serious depression also. The school administators did nothing to help her.
April was a talented girl. She enjoyed painting, skiing, roller-skating, singing, choir, and gardening. And she had a wonderful sense of humor.
She also had a deep love for animals and had a great way with them. She wanted to pursue a career with animals so she could contantly be surrounded by them and help them.
She had a very strong bond with her pet bird, George.
George and April were always together. And when April was no longer there, George became unresponsive.
George died shortly after April did.
We miss you April.