Sister's suicide motivates middle school girl to stand up to bullies

When Tim Rogers’ eyes fall, he sees his daughter.

Skyler’s picture is tattooed on Tim's left arm, where she will be forever 14 years old.

“It’s nice… to have her with me, all the time,” Rogers said.

Skyler committed suicide in October 2014 due to bullying, her parents said.

Some of Skyler’s classmates at Red Smith School in Green Bay called the teen “fat,” and “ugly,” her mother, Nikki Rogers, said.  The Green Bay Area Public School District declined a request for an interview.  A form on the district’s website allows for reporting of bullying incidents.

“She was a very sensitive and soft-hearted person,” Nikki said.

“Everything that was said to her, she took to heart.”

The pain the bullies dealt Skyler made its way beyond the teen.

“[Her younger sister] Kayden is actually the one that found Skyler,” Nikki said.

Her sister’s death motivates Kayden, now in middle school, to confront bullies in action, Nikki said.

That approach is recommended by the Milwaukee anti-bullying  organization Generations Against Bullying.

“If the bullying is occurring in the student population, that’s where it needs to be addressed,” said James Dean, the executive assistant at Generations Against Bullying. 

The Rogers family works to help bullying victims through the Skyler Rogers Stay Strong Organization.

More than 25 percent of students in grades six through twelve are bullied, according to stopbullying.gov.

If a witness steps in, a bullying situation will stop within ten seconds more than 50 percent of the time, according to the website. 

“If [Skyler] had somebody in her corner at that time, I think she would still be here,” Nikki said.

 

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