This week 15-year-old Amanda Cummings died after jumping in front of a bus on Staten Island with a suicide note in her pocket. Cummings was fairly popular, but her death has highlighted the issue of bullying once again. Her friends and family say she'd been hiding the fact that a group of girls were picking on her, and the harassment is part of what drove her to take her life.
Amanda died in the hospital on Monday night, six days after a witness saw her jump in front of a bus. The New York Daily News reports that after Cummings started dating a 19-year-old boy, a girl who had a crush on him began bullying her online and in school along with several of her friends. Relatives said that in the past month, Cummings had opened up to her mother about what was happening, but she was afraid the bullying would get worse if they reported it to the school. On December 27, Cummings told her mother she was going to a friends house, possibly after receiving another taunting message. Cummings' family frantically tried to get a hold of her, but she never came home. Her family members say the suicide note in her pocket said, "I can't live without [him]. There's no life at all."
Keith Cummings, Amanda's uncle, told the New York Times that his sister doesn't want to believe that her daughter intended to kill herself, and it's possibly that her actions were just "a bigger cry for attention," and she was hoping for "maybe a couple of broken bones." Whatever her intention, the family believes that she was distraught partially due to her romantic problems with the boy, but the bullying "definitely played a major role in it." He added, "There's only so much kids can take."
The number of students who said they'd been bullied at Cummings school, New Dorp High School, was high, with about 80% of students saying they or their classmates had been threatened, while 67% is the average for the rest of New York City. Cummings Facebook page has been filled with condolences since her death, but incredibly, just as some classmates cheered Jamey Rodemeyer's suicide, initially there were a few comments from people laughing about what happened to her. Keith Cummings says that though the comments have now been deleted, at first people wrote things like "LMFAO she jumped in front of a bus," and "Once a ho, always a ho," after she was hospitalized. This afternoon Amanda's sister asked people to stop posting even kind message on the page, saying "She cant read it, so you're just hurting US."