14:09, January 11 62 0

2019-01-11 14:09:05

 

Did these 11-year-old ‘girlfriends’ die of suicide after being bullied by classmates?

The parents of two 11-year-old girls are speaking out after they say classmates drove the two to suicide because they were girlfriends.

Madissen Foxx Paulsen and Sophia Leaf-Abrahamson died within two months of each other in rural North Dakota. Paulsen shot herself with her dad’s gun. Leaf-Abrahamson hung herself two months later.

Their parents, Angela Leaf and Shane Paulsen, shared with the Daily Mail that the pair had been bullied at their middle school after they started calling each other “girlfriends.” They say they were only alerted to the harassment after both girls had died.

“I’m trying to work through where it went wrong. I still live in the same apartment where she killed herself so I don’t go home often.”

Paulson says he destroyed the gun his daughter used to die of suicide.

The girls met in fifth grade and instantly bonded, their parents say.

Both Paulson and Leaf say their daughters confided in them that they were questioning their sexuality and had feeling for the other girl.

After Madissen died, Leaf says Sophia took it hard and was diagnosed with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder – a childhood condition of extreme irritability, anger and intense temper outbursts. She was in therapy to deal with the trauma when she died, but neither her mother or her medical providers were concerned she was suicidal.

They say the school hasn’t been helpful or considerate as they work through their grief.

“I think they just want it all to go away. It isn’t the kind of publicity a school wants – two kids in the same grade, two months apart commit suicide and bullying could have been a huge issue,” Paulson said. “There’s a real problem in that school and I can say it boldly, because I know that bullying goes on and people look the other way.”

Scott Privratsky, the school superintendent, was contacted for the story but only replied, “The school district will not comment.”

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