Sladjana Vidovic had already bought her prom dress, a pink, sparkly frock, perfect for a girl who loved music and loved to dance. But the hope and beauty of the prom dress weren’t enough to make up for what had been haunting the 16-year-old girl for months – the brutal bullying the native Croatian was subjected to day after day that eventually led her to take her life. And she wasn’t alone. Over the past two and a half years, a stunning four children at Sladjana’s Mentor High School in Ohio have killed themselves.
This revelation comes after the tragic suicide of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who was taped in a sexual encounter by his roommate, and Hope Whitsell, a mere 13 years old when she killed herself last year to escape the horrific bullying at school.
What’s perhaps different about Vidovic’s story is that her parents say they contacted school officials to tell them about the terrible things their daughter had been subjected to – food thrown at her in the cafeteria, a girl smacking her with a water bottle, a boy pushing her down a flight of stairs. Phone calls in the middle of the night each night threatening Sladjana’s very safety.
And the school did nothing about it, even though they promised to. The Vidovics actually sued the school earlier this year, nearly two years after their daughter’s death, because Mentor refused to release her records.
Clearly something needs to be done to stop this madness. How many kids have to die before we start holding bullies accountable? I cried reading Sladjana’s story, but the tragedy is that she’s not the only one.
Photo: Google Maps