Mom sues Yuba City middle school for failing to report her daughter's plan to commit suicide

Parents of a 12-year-old girl who committed suicide are suing a Yuba City middle school.

Posted: Dec 5, 2019 3:09 PM
Updated: Dec 5, 2019 3:34 PM

YUBA CITY, Calif. - Parents of a 12-year-old girl who committed suicide are suing a Yuba City middle school.

The day 12-year-old Madison Ocheltree committed suicide, she turned in all of her homework, just like normal. But what seemed fine, really wasn't.

Madisons mom, Morgan Ocheltree is suing the Yuba City Unified School District for what she describes as a lost opportunity to save her daughter.

Before Madison took her own life, she texted a friend about her plan to do it on a specific date.  That friend showed the message to a teacher who passed it along to administrators. 

"We did not receive a call," Ocheltree said. "We didn't know that she saw the counselor. We didn't know that she felt alone or was planning this."

Ocheltree believes she could have helped her daughter during this time.

The lawsuit accuses the school district of failing to follow up their own policies, including notifying a parent of a student's suicidal intentions. It claims the district "demonstrated deliberate indifference to madison's health and safety, and the risk of immediate harm to her."

The superintendent of Yuba City Schools declined to go on camera or comment on the lawsuit. But she said in a statement, this tragedy left teachers and students grieving. She added, she hopes students know there are people they can turn to if they need help.

Ocheltree said her daughter was bullied repeatedly at school, but that's not where she places blame.

The mom added she just wants the school to make sure this never happens again.

The lawsuit states the defendants had a mandatory duty to intervene, under a California Education Code which states that parents of a student should be notified when a school counselor has reason to believe a student presents danger to him or herself.

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