TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – One year ago Wednesday, a Battle Ground eighth-grader took her own life.
In the early morning hours of March 5, 2013, Angel Green hanged herself in a tree near her bus stop. One year later, some of her close friends and family members came together to celebrate her life.
“I want my daughter back. I don’t think it’s fair for me to be where I am now,” said Angel’s mother Danielle Green.
Angel would have celebrated her 15th birthday last year, but she’s not coming back. About two dozen of her close friends, many other teens, remembered her in a memorial service at the Faith West Community Center.
“I don’t even think that I realize that it has been a year, because every day I live like it was yesterday. That’s how it is. Every morning I wake up and I relive it. I put on my happy face and I try to get on with my day,” said Danielle.
A special coat rack and shelf with Angel’s pictures have found a permanent place in the Green home. The zebra pattern was a favorite of Angel’s and matches her tombstone.
“I always looked at myself and said I’m not going to be that girl, I’m not going to be that mom that loses their kid, but here I am now,” said Danielle.
In the last 365 days, anti-bullying efforts have been a focus for Danielle who believes bullying is what led her daughter to commit suicide.
Danielle is a regional leader for the Bully Project. She’s working to start a group called “Be an Angel for the Bullied” that will help raise money throughout the year for both the Bully Project and another advocacy group called the Bully Police. She also spoke in Indianapolis to lawmakers before they passed the anti-bullying law last year.
“Just trying to keep her voice alive, because she is the reason for all of this,” said Danielle.
Time hasn’t healed all wounds. Just leaving home means driving past where Angel took her own life.
“Even just going to the tree is too much and I just pass by it five to six times a day. It’s hard enough knowing that you pass by the place where your daughter passed away and there wasn’t anything you could do about it,” said Danielle.
Danielle said her other four children are coping in their own way. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, even a full year later.
“How do you put a loss of a child into words? You just can’t,” said Danielle.
An internal investigation by the Tippecanoe School Corporation found there were several factors that could have led to Angel’s death, but stated bullying wasn’t the reason.
Sheriff Tracy Brown tells News 18 his investigation into the incident will be released Thursday.
If you would like to contact Danielle about her “Be an Angel for the Bullied” effort, you can send her an e-mail at email@example.com.