Caroline High School students are dealing with the loss of a second classmate in the past week. Her parents and friends say bullying pushed her to do it, but the sheriff is telling a much different story.
Ciera Moore was just 14 years old when she took her life Monday. It is a tremendously difficult burden for all those who loved her. Family said she had big dreams but that recently - things had gotten tough at school.
"It's caused us a lot of hurt with her, watching her being so hurt," said grandparent Barbara Taylor.
Her grandparents have raised her since she was a child, and think of themselves as her parents. They say she was the victim of relentless bullying and that that night…it got even worse.
"I came by the sofa, she slept on the sofa and I sat in the chair all night because she was upset. And I asked her, was she doing alright? She said no," said Taylor.
Within hours, grandparent Gary Rollins found her clinging to life. Then they had to make the tough decision to take her off life support. But they say there is no question why she did it - bullying she just couldn't escape.
"I thought the first incident she had was a jealousy thing," said Rollins. "And then it happened again two years later. Same person. And then after that, a week after, another person. You know, she had a lot on her mind. On her plate."
"I don't know how to put it into words…but this is what happens when they bully em," said Taylor.
Now, they say the pain is almost overbearing.
"Let me tell you. It really hurts. You come and find your daughter in that kind of situation. Hey, it hurts," said Rollins.
And they just hope her shortened life will be a reminder to others that bullying hurts and that it can even kill.
"I'm going to miss her. I know that," said Rollins.
The Caroline County sheriff says this "is not" bullying. In a statement released today, he says:
"There is no evidence that leads to foul play or bullying as the cause of this young lady's death…for those who put misleading information onto social media is simply wrong. The family or families that are involved in this situation need thoughts, prayers and understanding of their loss, not rumors, or false innuendoes."
"It's hard to say what the cause of this was," said Caroline HS Principal Jeff Wick. "We're looking into every avenue that we need to, and then we'll go from there."
We also talked to the counseling team on site at the school and to one of Ciera's friends, who says she saw the bullying happen at Caroline High school.
Coming up new at 11, we'll tell you what she had to say and how the school is helping students through these two tragedies - and what they're recommending parents do at home to help.
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