A 12-year-old girl was found dead in the dormitory of her Washington, D.C. boarding school Tuesday, Jan. 23, authorities said. Her death is currently being investigated as an apparent suicide.
According to NBC Washington, parents were called and told to pick up their children after a seventh-grader was found unresponsive at The SEED Public Charter School of Washington. The parents of two kids who attend the school told the station their children said the child had been bullied. School officials haven’t confirmed or denied those claims, however.
Another parent told Fox 5 DC that her child also suffered bullying and a sexual assault during his time at the predominately Black school, adding that she is still waiting on a resolution from school leaders.
“It’s really sad that at 12 years old you feel like the only solution is to take your life – It’s heartbreaking,” said Keana Bedney-Wallace, the parent of another student at the school.
“I’m a mom of five, and I couldn’t imagine,” she added. “I pray for the family, that they get through this.”
The school released a statement on the grim discovery early Tuesday, saying it was “deeply saddened” to report the sudden death of one of its students. All classes have been canceled for the remainder of the week, along with all activities and programs, according to its website.
“This is of course a terrible tragedy for the family first and foremost — as well as for the entire SEED Community,” the statement read. “We ask that you respect the privacy of the family and of our community of scholars and teachers in their mourning.”
Founded in 1998, the SEED School of Washington, D.C. is the nation’s first public, charter college-prep boarding school. There are currently 370 students enrolled at the school in grades 6 through 12. Its mission is to provide an “outstanding, intensive educational program” aimed at preparing kids for success in college and beyond.
Authorities haven’t released any other details about the child’s death.