Natika Bird says bullying killed her teenage daughter.
Carla Jamerson, who was 14, will never get her driver’s license, graduate from high school or fulfill her dream of becoming a scientist.
She committed suicide in the downstairs bathroom of the home she shared with her mother, father and 9-year-old sister on the night of Feb. 27.
Bird said her oldest daughter’s death could have and should have been prevented.
She said she cannot recall a time when Jamerson was not picked on by her classmates, from kindergarten to middle school.
It was especially terrible at Canarelli Middle School in southwest Las Vegas, the school Jamerson most recently attended, Bird said. At one point, students at the school created a Facebook page in Jamerson’s name to spread rumors of pregnancy and sexual promiscuity.
“They massacred her,” Bird said Thursday.
But even after 50 conversations with school officials about the incessant bullying, she said the Clark County School District would do nothing. “It was always made out to be her fault.”
“It’s your job to take care of our kids in our absence,” Bird said she told school officials.
Bird holds the school district accountable for ignoring her and her daughter’s pleas for help.
She sought private counseling for Jamerson after school counseling proved unsuccessful.
As the bullying continued, the once “sweet, bubbly” Jamerson became very depressed and lethargic, she said.
Bird said there were moments when Jamerson had “genuine smiles,” but she could tell something had changed within her daughter.
The world was unaccepting of Jamerson, Bird said.
Bird has been thrust into the spotlight because of her daughter’s passing, and she’s not taking it lightly.
She will be ready to fight the school district in court after Jamerson’s funeral is over, Bird said, shaking her fists in the air. She plans to give her daughter a voice by standing up to the school district she says is to blame.
Bird was aware of another bullied school district student who committed suicide — 13-year-old Hailee Lamberth.
Lamberth ended her life Dec. 12, 2013, saying in her suicide note, “Please tell my school that I killed myself, so that the next time (name withheld) wants to call somebody (expletives), maybe they won’t.”
She blamed her middle school and so did her family. The Lamberths sued the district in 2014.
In a motion to dismiss the Lamberths’ lawsuit, the school district blamed the bullied girl for her own death in December of that year.
The school district took steps to address the bullying problem. On Feb. 4, it toughened its policy on bullying, ordering principals to inform parents within one day of an incident that a student is either a victim of bullying or has been accused of bullying.
Gov. Brian Sandoval proposed in his budget a $36 million “Social Work in Schools” program to combat bullying and has made the “acute issue” of bullying a priority. It is being considered by the Legislature.
“This is a bigger problem than you think,” Bird said.
People had the opportunity to learn from Lamberth’s death, Bird said. “We should have listened.”
School became unbearable for Jamerson, then “she just broke,” Bird said.
Bird tried to resuscitate her after she and her other daughter discovered her hanging in the bathroom.
“She made a permanent solution to a temporary problem,” Bird said as she wept.
Paramedics transported Jamerson to St. Rose Dominican Hospital’s Siena Campus where she was pronounced dead.
“You need to come tell your daughter ‘goodbye,’ ” Bird remembered the emergency room doctor telling her.
She offered a warning for parents.
“Make sure these parents know to fight for their babies,” Bird said, warning those who have reached out to her, sharing their similar experiences.
Jamerson’s bullies and their parents have yet to express their condolences, Bird said. But students from the middle school have reached out in remorse, apologizing for not doing more.
School district spokeswoman Melinda Malone said she could not comment about Jamerson’s school disciplinary record. She was not aware of any related pending litigation.
The public is welcome to attend Jamerson’s viewing at Palm Eastern Mortuary, 7600 Eastern Ave., near the intersection of Warm Springs Road, from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday.
Contact Kimberly De La Cruz at Kdelacruz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Find her on Twitter: @KimberlyinLV.