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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 05, 2010, 04:32 PM

Cooperstown community is reeling with grief after a teen took her own life because of constant bullying

Cooperstown, ND (WDAY TV) - Teenagers all around Griggs County are reeling with grief today, one day after a friend and classmate took her life because of constant bullying. The death of Cassidy Joy Andel has this community angry, shocked, and looking for answers.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

How do you explain this loss: An athlete, school leader, a Sunday school teacher. This 16-year old girl named Cassidy, whose circle of friends stretched for miles, today has an entire community hurting.

15-year old Alyssa Jacobson can hardly be consoled. One of Cassidy's best friends, the two texted each other nightly. Alyssa knew of the constant texting and cyber bullying that paralyzed Cassidy for months. And it came down to this. Cassidy's last Facebook posting: "My time has come, and so I'm gone. To a better place, far beyond." For this teenager, her pain had become too much hurt too often and ignored by too many.

Alyssa's mother doesn't know where to turn. As she tried to comfort her grieving daughter over the loss, there is anger.

Cassidy's pastor Mike Jacobson of Trinity Lutheran in Cooperstown spoke to the entire school Thursday following Cassidy's suicide.

There was no school in Cooperstown today because of deer hunting, a chance for students to spend time with family. It is hoped there are conversations, questions asked and expectations given, so this town can move forward to remember this girl whose pain became so intense, she had to take her life in order for people to finally hear and see the hurt.

The Griggs County Sheriff's office will soon begin interviewing students, staff and Cassidy's family about the bullying she endured these last several months.

Sheriff Bob Hook, along with another deputy are heading up the investigation. It is unclear about what can even be charged in this case because North Dakota does not have anti-bullying legislation.

Hook says bullying among teen agers has increased dramatically with texting and Facebook. He says it is happening during all hours of the night and day.

Meantime more than a thousand people have joined an anti-bullying Facebook site in memory of Cassidy. Supporter of the law are already pushing for "Cassidy's Law" in the North Dakota legislature that would punish those who bully others.

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