FORT DODGE, Iowa — A Fort Dodge mother feels helpless after her daughter attempted to harm herself after being bullied and assaulted by classmates.

Marissa Geopfert said her nine-year-old daughter Reighlynn Geopfert had endured bullying from her classmates since the start of the school year. Moreover, she said the school did not contact her about the harassment until she reached out to the school. 

Geopfert said her daughter was being bullied and harassed about her skin tone and hair. She said the bullying has caused her daughter to attempt to take her own life twice, run away from home, and she often prefers to be alone in her room. Geopfert’s frustrations led her to share her daughter’s experience on social media.

“It just hurt me,” said Geopfert. “What if she would have been successful? What if her friends decide to do the same because they can’t take it? It’s just horrible. There nine years old. You shouldn’t be thinking things like that at nine years old.”

Recently, Geopfert has initiated an investigation with a company outside of the school district. As an effort to help her daughter and other children who are victims of bullying.  

“Trying to hold the school district accountable is not a witchhunt. It is advocating for your child and other children, Helping them know that bullying is not okay. That harassment [and] assault is not okay,” said Geopfert. 

Geopfert says her daughter is receiving therapy, and she does not feel comfortable attending school. Since there is an active investigation into the bullying, the Fort Dodge Community School district sent this statement regarding the allegations. 

“The Fort Dodge Community School District’s number one priority is the safety and well-being of our students. We take all bullying and harassment allegations seriously and are investigating the current allegations according to our policies and procedures. The Fort Dodge Community School District does not condone and will not tolerate bullying. We will continue to work to ensure all students feel safe and welcome in our schools.”

Jennifer Lane, Director of Communications & Community Relations Fort Dodge Community School District

Anyone struggling should contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.