Society

Dead Teen's Mother Fights To Protect Anti-Bullying Law

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Angel Green, 14, decided to hang herself from a tree on March 5, 2013.

Her mother, Danielle Green, found a note that read: “It’s bullying that killed me. Please get justice.” 

Danielle reacted by drafting a petition for an anti-bullying law. Over 150,000 people signed the petition, and a new anti-bullying law was enacted in Indiana, but new legislation threatened to reverse all of Danielle’s work.

News of the education deregulation bill " … hit us like a ton of bricks,” she told NBC

Angie Stagge, who also worked towards the anti-bullying law after her own teenage daughter attempted suicide three times, said, “It was like a slap in the face.”

A week ago, Danielle turned to the public again for support and started a Change.org petition to stop Senate Bill 500, the legislation that would reverse the year-old anti-bullying law. So far, the petition has garnered more than 172,000 signatures. 

Sen. Pete Miller told NBC that he plans to introduce amendments that will leave the existing law intact. Miller originally sponsored the anti-bullying law.

"No schools were saying, 'We don't care about bullying,'" Miller said. "But obviously parents were concerned that was going to be in the final version of the bill. I knew we were going to have a chance to take it out.”

The bill, signed into law in 2014, is designed to make schools more accountable for harassment. 

Miller believes the law is imperfect. Some schools struggled with the new bullying reporting standards. "So you have a report, but I'm not sure how valuable it is," he said. Instead of overturning the current law, he may now simply fine-tune it.

Danielle is grateful for Miller’s stance on bullying and the support of people who signed the petition, some of whom shared their personal stories about bullying. "I sat down a little bit ago and started reading some of the comments," she said. "And I just sat here and cried.”

Sources: NBC, Change.org / Image via Change.org