February 01, 2019

13-year-old girl committed suicide because she was scared to go back home, the court heard

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A 13-year-old teenager died by suicide three years ago. The court heard this week that she was scared of going home. 

One of her teachers said during the inquest that Amber Peat remained in the library at the end of a school day in 2015 because she was worried about going home. 

Mrs. Holland told the court that Peat didn't want to go home because she had lost the belt off her coat," and didn't want to get into trouble. 

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In an attempt to calm Peat down, the teacher called her parents and explained that school staff would look for the belt. 

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Mrs. Holland felt that Peat "didn't get much attention at home." She lived with her mother Kelly Peat and stepfather Daniel Peat at the time. 

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The court heard how the family relocated numerous times and that Peat changed schools frequently. Mrs. Holland added

"We had lots of conversations about how sad we were because we felt she was making good progress. We thought it would be a step backwards for Amber."

Peat ran away from home a year before taking her life. She had a fallout with her mother and ended up at school at 9 pm that evening. 

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The caretaker contacted the principal, who in turn called Peat's family. However, they couldn't fetch Peat from school because "their dog was in labour."

Peat reportedly told the principal the following day that her parents "grilled her" over the incident. The principal wanted to meet with them. 

However, they declined to meet with the principal because "they had been awake all night with the dog." 

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The school support manager, Emme Dunn, said Peat was "pleasant, bubbly" at school, but was "quiet and withdrawn" when her parents were around. 

Dunn added: "Amber was very different with how she presented." The inquest continues. 

Suicide among teenagers is a rising concern. A 14-year-old girl died by suicide after bullying at school became too much for her to bear. 

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Rochelle Pryor wrote that the bullying and the racism would stop once she's gone. Only one friend responded to the post. 

Her father found her unconscious in her bedroom later that night, and Pryor – described as "sweet and happy"–  passed away in hospital nine days later.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

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