Ten-year-old Indiana boy who committed suicide was bullied, but no charges will be brought in the case: Report

News & Politics

Sammy Teusch was a ten-year-old boy who was driven to suicide after reportedly being bullied both inside and outside of school. But the authorities confirmed on Friday that no charges would be brought in connection with the boy’s death, according to the New York Post.

The Hancock County Coroner concluded that Teusch, originally from Indiana, had died from “asphyxiation by strangulation” on May 5. And while the authorities said Teusch experienced bullying, there was not enough evidence for any criminal charges to be brought in the case.

Greenfield Police Chief Brian Hartman said on Friday: “At the very beginning, everybody started saying this was bullying, this was a result of bullying, and I say this with a heavy heart, unfortunately, we do not know the cause of this.”

“There was no note or no text messages. Sammy didn’t say why he felt he had to do this.”

‘Bullying, as a general term, does not exist in criminal law.’

Despite no charges being brought, investigators noted that Teusch was the target of bullying both in and out of Greenfield Intermediate School. One incident took place in the school cafeteria, and another happened on the bus.

Hartman went on to say that “[w]e believe he encountered some rough times at school from other kids,” adding that “I do have statements and facts to back that up. There were also things that happened outside of school … There has probably been an accumulation of things having happened in this child’s life that led up to that traumatic decision he made that day.”

Additionally, the school was not found to be negligent in Teusch’s death. The report noted that administrators “addressed the incidents,” which included giving one alleged bully a “one day in school and a one day out of school suspension.”

The Daily Reporter reported that Teusch’s parents, Sam and Nichole Teusch, blamed officials with the Greenfield-Central school for not taking enough action to put an end to the bullying that they believe led to the boy’s death. They said they contacted the school 20 different times to try and put an end to the bullying.

Charles McMichael, deputy chief of GPD, said that the school district’s definition of bullying is much different than the understood definition by the general public.

“The state law is written, their definition of what bullying is, it’s very specific,” McMichael said. “A lot of the things that were happening with Sammy did not necessarily meet that definition.”

McMichael noted that it was this disconnect that resulted in the confusion among those in the community following Teusch’s untimely death.

“Bullying, as a general term, does not exist in criminal law,” McMichael added. “There are rules for handling bullying as far as a school district’s requirements as far as what staffs have to do when it is reported and all of that, but for us to charge someone for ‘bullying’ — that doesn’t exist.”

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