Bullying played a part in the death of a 15-year-old girl from New York's Staten Island who walked in front of an oncoming bus with a suicide note in her pocket, according to her relatives.
Amanda Cummings, a sophomore at New Dorp High School, wrote Facebook messages in the weeks before her death that her realtives said showed a distressed girl crying out for help. Cummings died Monday from injuries sustained in the bus crash on Dec. 27.
Her uncle, Keith Cummings, told ABC-owned station WABC that bullying contributed to her suicide.
"Amanda begged her mother not to say anything for the simple fact that she'd be picked on more, or they'd make fun of her more," Cummings said.
He said that girls at Cummings' high school had been tormenting Amanda, and continued to leave inappropriate comments on her Facebook profile even as she lay in a coma at Staten Island University Hospital.
The bullying was apparently never reported to the school. New Dorp High School did not immediately return calls from ABC News seeking comment about Cummings' case or its bullying policies.
The note found in Cummings' pocket after the crash, according to her relatives, spoke of a failed relationship with a boyfriend, which family members believe added to the girl's stress. In the note, Cummings said, according to her relatives, that she could not live without the boyfriend. The New York Police Department confirmed that a note was found on Cummings at the time of the crash, but would not comment on its contents nor on the accusations of bullying in Cummings' death.
In the weeks and months leading up to her death, Cummings repeatedly expressed her unhappiness on her Facebook profile, saying she felt alone and sick of her life, and that she wanted to die.
"I'll just go f**k myself, just like u said baby, then ill go kill myself, with these pills, this knife, this life has already done half the job. -___-," she wrote in early December. The messages of despair stretched back at least to September.
Cummings' suicide is the latest in a string of recent youth suicides, including those of Massachusetts high school student Phoebe Prince and Rutgers University freshmen Tyler Clementi, who was bullied for his romantic encounter with another man. Prince hanged herself in a closet, and Clementi jumped of the George Washington Bridge in New York, bringing widespread outcry for schools to crack down on bullying.
Since Clementi's death, New Jersey has lead states around the country to enact tougher anti-bullying prgorams, including stricter punishments and better preventative education, in school districts.