TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A father grieves the loss of his beautiful child.
"My daughter, actually, she was hurting inside," said Jeremy White.
In 2014, White's daughter, 12-year-old Jamera White decided to end her pain by taking a fatal dose of insulin.
"I don't think she wanted to do what she did," said White."I don't think she wanted to take her life."
But she was pushed to the edge, keeping a deadly secret that ate at her everyday of her young life.
She was the victim of relentless online bullying.
"I was clueless," said White.
Looking back, the family saw a change, a withdrawal from the usual activities Jamera loved.
"She stopped doing things she really enjoyed doing. She didn't want to cheerlead no more," said Mary Wilson, Jamera's great-aunt. "Spending more and more time at that computer or on her phone."
Jamera was the "new girl" at Birmingham Elementary School in east Toledo and had been diagnosed with diabetes, a secret she tried and failed to keep.
The taunting began, in school, outside of school and on Facebook.
"Jamera was a very beautiful, beautiful girl," said Wilson. "But, what we saw looking at her with the natural eye, when she looked in the mirror, she didn't see that. She saw an ugly little girl. Not good. When you can make a person feel like that and you're just a kid yourself, that's serious business."
Her family says what Jamera needed, and what others failed to do, is stand up to the bullies.
"Nobody was willing to take a stand," said Wilson.
"If you're told multiple times a day that you're worthless, if you're reading on social media that the world would be better off without you, and you should be dead, I don't know that you're going to have it in you to stand up for yourself," said Lisa Pescara-Kovach, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Director of the Center for Education on Targeted Violence and Suicide at the University of Toledo.
A recent Lucas County survey shows bullying is happening at alarming rates with potentially deadly consequences.
In 2013 and 2014, nearly half, 43 percent of 7th thru 12th graders said they'd been bullied in the past year. Seven percent admitted attempting suicide.
Psychologists who study bullying and it's deadly risks confirm one person standing up can save a life like Jamera's.
"So, those individuals that are on the brink of suicide, it's checking in multiple times a day, reminding that individual they're worth something," said Pescara-Kovach.
Wilson, who spends her time talking to area students about bullying, says "Everybody has a part to play in this. Take it personal, because if we don't take it personal, we could end up being the victim of the circumstances."
"People give power to the wrong things," said White. "You know, and that's all I could think about was my daughter. I can't believe the power of bullying could make her take her life, because she was full of life. She was so happy."
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