KASSON/MANTORVILLE, Minn. (KTTC) -- Shock and sorrow have overwhelmed the small communities of Kasson and Mantorville after a 7th grader took her own life over the weekend.
Rachel Ehmke of Mantorville was 13-years-old.
Her parents, Rick and Mary Ehmke, say continuous bullying was the reason she committed suicide.
"She tried to deal with it, we thought she was dealing with it, and the school thought she was dealing with it," Rick said.
The school notified Rick and Mary of another bullying incident on Friday.
"When I asked Rachel about it, she tried to downplay it... her worry was it was only going to get worse," Rick said.
The day after the bullying incident, Rick spent the evening laughing with Rachel.
He says nothing was out of the ordinary.
She went to her room to do her homework.
Shortly after, Rick found her.
"We love you, we miss you," said Mary.
On the outside, Rachel seemed like a normal teenager.
She was involved in several sports including: soccer, dance and basketball.
"We found a card just last night that said, 'I'm alright = I wish I could tell you how I really felt,'" Rick recalled.
Rick and Mary hope that by telling Rachel's story others will think before saying, texting, or typing hurtful words.
"These kids gotta be aware that words hurt, words can kill," Mary said.
Rick went on to say, "Yup and it did. And I'd give anything to have her back, I would."
Meanwhile at Kasson-Mantorville schools, many students spent the day grieving.
"We set up some different stations in our media station so that the kids could come in throughout the day and talk about the things that were bothering them, or questions that they had. It was utilized very heavily throughout the entire day," said Mark Matuska, superintendent of Kasson-Mantorville schools.
Rick and Mary are asking that people please not retaliate against those who bullied Rachel; retaliation means the cycle continues and they want all bullying to stop.
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