Like much of Lanarkshire this weekend, we’ve been deeply saddened to learn of the untimely death of this beautiful young local girl, Rachel Steven.
Rachel, from Burnbank, Hamilton was a pupil of St John Ogilvie High School and at just 12 years old, she was a week away from becoming a teenager. This little angel had her full life ahead of her. What makes this tragic loss all the more shocking are the events which led up to it. Rachel took her own life on Friday 21st September 2018 after being plagued by school bullies.
Sadly, it is known Rachel had been bullied since Primary 7, something which followed her to High School. Bullies were calling her ‘fat’ and other taunts, which form peers had a devastating impact on Rachel’s wellbeing. Appalled and knowing the names of the bullies causing the problems, her concerned mother Donna had been to the school many times as early as last year, to report the bullying and was left frustrated at their lack of action.
Things continued to get worse and Rachel was admitted to hospital after taking an overdose as a direct result of her unhappiness due to the bullying. She had also been self harming.
We cannot imagine the heartache the family must be going through and offer our deepest sympathies. If there’s anything we can do to assist the family, in any way, including funeral arrangements, please do let us know.
Fundraising for the Family
A member of the family told Blantyre Telegraph today, “I have permission from the immediate family for you to tell this story regarding the bullying that she went through. Her family are absolutely devastated and this has left a massive hole in their heart. A fundraising page has been setup to help them at this heartbreaking time. They have no idea we’ve set this up but as a community surely we have to help as much as we can. Any donation is welcome whether no matter how small. The family can’t even begin to think about their loss but knowing that people are out there who care about what’s happened, I’m sure will be such a comfort to them.” https://www.gofundme.com/usmyd-rachel-stevens
Remembering Rachel Stevens
Our light is out, but never will fade,
An angel in heaven this day was made,
Now torment, bullying all has past,
Happy, eternal, free at last.
Rachel’s life still at the start,
Will continue on, in our hearts.
Her message now for all her peers,
Be nice to others, don’t live in fear.
For know this, on this sad September,
It’s love & kindness that is remembered.
No young person should EVER have to go through what Rachel did. Unfortunately though bullies are in almost every school. If you’re a young person and being bullied, you DON’T have to go through it alone. You DON’T have to keep it to yourself or be afraid alone. As somebody who was bullied at school, we know how deeply upsetting and frightening this can be and it CAN go away or get better very fast IF problems are shared with others. Help and support IS available.
Parents and Children in Scotland up to the age of 16 can call confidential helplines to discuss bullying. Parentline is for parents, carers and anyone caring for or concerned about a child. The line is supported by Parentline Scotland and confidential. You may wish to contact them on 08000 282233 Monday to Friday from 9am – 9pm. They will listen and give you the space to talk, helping you to explore your situation and identify the way forward.
For children up to the age of 16, a free 24 hour helpline is available at Childline tel 0800 1111