News 12 at 6 O'clock / Friday, December 6, 2013
Evans, Ga. (WRDW) - "I don't think we have a bullying problem here," said Mike Johnson, Principal of Evans Middle School
Firm words from the principal even after hearing the rumor that one of his former students was murdered.
"We were already in the process of trying to contact the young ladies family to find out what was going on," she said.
Dozens of parents and students heard the rumor through a social media site called Kik, even the girls mom.
"I went to check it, I got a message from a parent saying that she was so sorry for my loss," she said.
She then questioned her daughter who tried to explain what was going on.
"She tried to tell me something and I wasn't listening because I was reading the next message and then I was seeing all of these Rest In Peace," said the mother. "I quickly posted on her wall that she is not dead."
What happened next was most difficult.
"Four homicide cops showing up at my house looking for my daughters body," she said.
She immediately wanted everyone to know her daughter was alive.
"She is alive, she is living and breathing and she's here, she's on earth," she said. "She only sent it to the boy in question and a few other people she says to make it sound believable,"
The boy who she says sent her daughter messages asking for nude photos.
"Police told me that it was now classified as cyber bullying," said the mother.
It was shocking for the mom involved, but more shocking for her daughter.
"Then she started seeing all of these Instagram things popping up saying rest in peace and she didn't realize how bad it was and she could not make it stop and she felt so bad because it happened instantly, so quickly," she told News 12's Patrick Price.
And it's a lesson for everyone involved, especially for the parents.
"Parents listen to your kids, figure out how to use these apps before your children start using them," said the mother. "There is no excuse to fake her death and hurt all of those people, all of those children that loved her."
The Columbia County Sheriffs Office is still investigating this case.
Stay with News 12 for the latest.