The Ohio parents of a 13-year-old girl who committed suicide are suing the teen's school, claiming that school administration knew she was the target of racial bullying and did nothing to stop it.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cindy and Marc Olsen adopted Emilie from China when she was 9 months old. The Olsens claim in their lawsuit that students at Fairfield Middle School subjected Emilie to racial taunts and that the teen was told repeatedly to "go kill herself"—a phrase that was reportedly scribbled on a bathroom wall. Emilie also was labeled a "fake cowboy" because, as several students reportedly told her, she couldn't be "country" because she was Asian.
Emilie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head Dec. 11, 2014.
"Emilie and her parents tried to end the bullying and repeatedly pleaded with certain defendants to help," the lawsuit alleges, according to the Enquirer. "Defendants failed to stop the bullying, and it continued."
The Olsens have filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit, noting that the teen suffered "severe anguish, distress and depression"—and that her death was a direct result of the treatment she endured.
According to the lawsuit, one student told Emilie, "Chinese people don't wear camo." She also was pushed into a locker once by a group of students and told, "Asians shouldn't wear camo and boots." In sixth grade, a student followed Emilie into a bathroom, gave her a razor and told her to "end her life," the lawsuit alleges.
"Sadly, Emilie's case is not an outlier," the lawsuit says, according to the Enquirer.
Emilie's family is reportedly asking that the school district reform its policies on bullying.
Read more at the Cincinnati Enquirer.