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Ford Heights Teacher Was Bullied To Death, Her Parents Claim

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Mary Thorson, a teacher, committed suicide on Thanksgiving 2011. (family handout)

Mary Thorson, a teacher, committed suicide on Thanksgiving 2011. (family handout)

Pamela Jones Pamela Jones
Pamela Jones serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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(CBS) – An Illinois family is still looking for answers almost a year and a half after a teacher’s death.

Mary Thorson left a suicide note and other materials claiming she’d been bullied to death.

CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports on the push from loved ones to find out more.

“Why the hell isn’t anything being done – why?” John Thorson asks.

Questions remain more than a year since his daughter, physical education teacher Mary Thorson, committed suicide.

She left a note to her parents and walked in the path of a tractor-trailer-truck on Thanksgiving 2011.

A note of protest blamed Ford Heights School District 169 employees for overwhelming stress. Her parents say it was bullying.

“You hear a lot about bullying kids, kids bullying kids. But you don’t hear about teachers getting bullied by administrators,” John Thorson says.

The note mentions feces left on the floor of a locker room, supposedly for her to clean and the way students, “her babies,” were allegedly belittled.

An attorney for the school district says officials had never seen Thorson’s suicide note. He wouldn’t say whether there had been any investigation into her claims of harassment.

Thorson’s parents gathered 400 online signatures from supporters all over the country seeking answers, too.

One supporter created a documentary and website geared toward letting teachers speak out.

“I was disturbed by the fact that that the teachers are afraid. … I was disturbed by the fact that  nobody was doing anything,” Myra Richardson says.

It’s sparking others who have taught in the same district to unveil how they say they’ve been mistreated.

“I had a miscarriage after the harassment, and the discrimination that I experienced there,” says one employee, who requested anonymity.

Thorson’s family is still waiting to hear whether federal officials intend to begin tracking deaths like Mary Thorson’s.

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