After being bullied, local girl attempts suicide, shares her sto - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

After being bullied, local girl attempts suicide, shares her story

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Letters laying by Katie's bed. Letters laying by Katie's bed.
Bullying came through Facebook messaging and comments. Bullying came through Facebook messaging and comments.
Katie recovering at University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City. Katie recovering at University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City.
Hundreds of cards and letters sent in the mail to Katie. Hundreds of cards and letters sent in the mail to Katie.
Picture of Katie holding a movie with the title of her last name. Picture of Katie holding a movie with the title of her last name.
FORT MADISON, Ia. (WGEM) -

Statistics show that 20% of teen suicides due to bullying and suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens.

A Tri-State teen who was almost part of those statistics is sharing her story, with hopes it won't happen to anyone else.

Her dad says more needs to be done at schools to prevent bullying.

Fort Madison 8th grade student Katie Brennan said she's been bullied at an early age.  

"I never imagined that I would be bullied," Brennan said.  

Her father, Bill, said it all happened online through Facebook posts and messages.

She said some of the comments were hard to read. 

"It's very hurtful and it's difficult," Brennan said.  

Bill said Katie felt like she had nowhere to turn. 

"She knew the police wouldn't do anything, the school wouldn't, and she was bullied to the point where the only way out of it would be suicide," Brennan said.  

Following Katie's suicide attempt, the Fort Madison School District sent out a letter with a new anonymous tip line where students and parents can report incidents.

The district said people can report it through a mobile device or computer. Brennan said that's not enough. 

"The schools aren't equipped to help everyone that is being abused," Brennan said. "It's the system that's failing. There is no common sense. Put parenting classes in the school and you will end this abuse." 

Now the community is coming together. There is already a bully proof group that has started in the schools and everyday,

Katie is getting more letters of support  in the mail. She has read hundreds of them as she tries to get through this tough time. 

"Most of them are parents and they said their kid passed away," Brennan said. "I can relate to some of that with some of the emotions and feelings." 

She said she wants to go back to school soon and her dad said that's the fighter mentality in her. 

"I'm proud of the bravery and courage to get right back in there. She's an amazing kid," Brennan said.

Katie continues to recover, but there's no set date on when she will return to school.

The school district hopes the anonymous tip line will encourage students to report and help staff provide a faster response.     

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