The Lynden School District will hold a public meeting Wednesday night in the wake of a middle school student’s death that some say was a result of bullying.
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Isom Elementary, 8461 Benson Road. Superintendent Jim Frey announced the meeting in a message to families last Tuesday.
The meeting’s announcement came days after the death of seventh-grader Vylit VanderGiessen, 13, who died at her home March 9. Dr. Gary Goldfogel, the Whatcom County medical examiner, said in an email the manner of VanderGiessen’s death was suicide.
Reports that VanderGiessen had been repeatedly bullied, at the school and on social media, began to circulate soon after her death was made public in a district announcement March 10.
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The district has not been able to determine whether bullying played a role, Frey said in a statement days after VanderGiessen’s death. A Lynden Police detective was investigating whether crimes like threats were committed leading up to VanderGiessen’s death.
The district, Frey wrote, aims to provide support for students, staff and families. The purpose of the meeting, he added, was to collect community feedback about what could be done to prevent bullying, and to talk about the current policies the district follows to address it.