Counselors will be at McCulloch Junior High School the entire week to help students and teachers deal with the death of a student.
Marion Police Deputy Chief Cliff Sessoms said Braylee Rice, 14, took her own life outside the school near the track. Rice left the gym between 8:45– :50 a.m. Monday morning. Sessoms said students were in the gym because of ISTEP testing.
Then, a group of students and a teacher found Rice near the bleachers after 10 a.m. Sessoms said people noticed Rice was missing when they were switching classes.
“In my professional career, I’ve not had, I’ve not been faced with this situation,” said Steve Edwards, Marion Community Schools Superintendent.
Sessoms said it was unclear how Rice left class. The incident is under investigation.
“We have no indication this was bullying, but we take that whole scenario very seriously in our school,” Edwards said.
Some parents said they will try to find a way to speak with their children about what happened.
“It’ll probably introduce topics that we didn’t want to talk about yet,” CJ McAbee-Reher said.
McAbee-Reher’s 14-year-old daughter attends the same school.
“When I found out, I stopped by school and asked her if she wanted to come home or if she wanted to stay and she said she wanted to stay with her friends,” McAbee-Reher said.
“If there are hardships in their lives, hardships at home, hardships in the community, hardships… if things are happening in school we encourage them to reach out to an adult in the building,” Edwards said.
Deputy Chief Sessoms said students did not witness what happened, but if anyone has any information they are asked to call the police department.
“I just wish parents didn’t have to deal with this and I wish she’d reach out to somebody so we could have helped her,” McAbee-Reher said.