Though it appears to be a suicide, police are still investigating the death of a 13-year-old girl in Regina.
On Thursday, the Leader-Post published an obituary for Savhannah Turcotte. It describes her as a caring young girl who liked sports, dancing and music.
But the obituary also asked: “In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate your help and contribution towards raising more awareness in schools and putting an END to bullying.”
Turcotte’s funeral is on Monday. According to posts on the Facebook page Rest In Peace Savy Turcotte, students have been sending their condolences, signing their wrists with Turcotte’s nickname, and dedicating volleyball games to her.
On Saturday, Turcotte’s mother, Kelly, released this statement which we have posted verbatim:
After our tragic loss, Savys journal told us she had been living 2 lives. Her external life showed a happy, kind, caring, generous and loving child who filled our lives with great joy. Just her presence made people happy. But inside she was crying out. She felt alone and scared ; feeling she was not accepted and didn't feel like she belonged. We have found that she was visiting social media sites we did not know existed and there were many hurtful and disturbing comments from individuals that must have continued to hurt her deeply. Anyone who knew Sav loved her; her kind spirit and beautiful soul. If you did not love her I feel sad that those people did not take the time and care to really find out who she was.
At home we tell our kids to be themselves and when they go into the world they are judged and tormented. We tell them to turn the other cheek but should we not be telling them to stand up for themselves and speak out. Bullying can sometimes happen even within a friendship group. Rumours are spread and hurtful words said". These words leave scars that are difficult to erase.
I believe that what we should be doing in our children's schools is have our children and their classmates communicate. There are so many bullying presentations but there are skills children need to be practicing, like being kind to one another. Children should be coming into their classrooms and pairing up with one another to give positive comments! For example the girl that was called a loser yesterday, what positive feedback is she going to receive today? I challenge all of the youth to turn to your neighbour the next time you are in class and share something positive about them.
Children and youth today are corresponding via social media ( Facebook, Instagram, tumbler, Ask.fm, Snapchat). We as parents constantly need to check who our children are corresponding with, however, the individuals on these sites remain anonymous with only screen names. We must limit and monitor all outside correspondence. Our children should be talking to one another... Not texting! Our children should be learning how to communicate face to face, with kindness. Unfortunately we live in a different world today--a world where predators can prey on our children. These predators could be their own peers.
Girls and boys have diaries and journals which contain precious information about their innermost feelings. How they are being treated and how they feel about life and death. As a parent I know that we sometimes feel as though we are betraying the trust of our children by "snooping," but the information in these diaries might save our children's lives.
Your child could be smiling on the outside and surrounded by "friends", but on the inside they are depressed, nervous, scared, anxious, and feeling completely alone.
A quote from Savy." Help others to feel good about themselves, even just a friendly smile."
We can not get back our precious Savy, but she taught us all wonderful lessons in her short time here. I pray that this never happens to another parent. Reach out to your children today! Find out what is going on inside!
This statement is the only statement I am willing to make at this point. Please respect the privacy of myself and my family. We need time to grieve!