NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A line wrapped around New Season Church Saturday night as family, friends, and strangers waited to say their farewells to a young girl gone too soon.
Her parents say 12-year-old Tarhiya Sledge attempted to take her own life last Friday, pronounced dead three days later.
They say she was special education and smaller than the other kids, enduring years of bullying and couldn’t take it anymore.
“Tarhiya loved everybody, and in the midst of loving everybody, she got talked about, she got picked on,” her stepfather, Mario Glover, said at the service Saturday.
He compared her life to the Christian savior Jesus. He said she endured similar torment, but the faith believes there is everlasting purpose in his death.
“When you break down the word message, you have the word mess, and the word age. So the message you are sending us by using our little sweet Tarhiya who went through a lot of mess at a young age, Lord is it all for your glory, please show out as you show up,” Glover said in a prayer.
They say the love she had for everyone regardless of who they were or what they did is the purpose she leaves behind, and reason to celebrate her life.
The family’s attorney told News 2 they are putting together a negligence lawsuit against the school right now.
The district said they are also looking into the allegations of bullying at the schools she attended, J.F. Kennedy Middle School.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a prevention network of 161 crisis centers that provides a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. If you need help, please call 1-800-273-8255.