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Family files lawsuit against Cole County R-V School District after daughter’s suicide



A family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Cole County R-V School District, former superintendent, former principal and assistant principal after they say their 13-year-old daughter died by suicide in 2021 after being bullied.

Patrick and Tiffany Kempker state in the lawsuit against Cole County R-V School District, former Superintendent Dawna Burrow, former Principal Mark Richard, and Assistant Principal Megan Brinkmann that they failed to protect Myah Kempker from serious harm from the physical, emotional and psychological bullying.

The lawsuit states that Myah was an eighth-grader in the school district and was repeatedly bullied by another student that had a history of bullying behavior and had been previously expelled from another school for bullying. The lawsuit also states a second bully reportedly threatened to kill Myah’s dog and when she attempted to stand up for herself was punished by the school while the other student was not disciplined.

The lawsuit also states that Assistant Principal Brinkmann subjected Myah Kempker to bullying in the form of extreme nitpicking, unfairly singling her out and subjecting her to unwarranted criticism and discipline over minor issues, and further by placing blame on Myah Kempker as a victim of bullying.

During an altercation with the first bully, the bully reportedly told Myah that she should “just kill [her]self.”

The lawsuit claims the defendants failed to adhere to the district’s own bullying policy and created an unsafe school atmosphere that led to Myah’s suicide.

The Kempker’s are seeking a trial by jury for the lawsuit and, if awarded anything, that it be determined by the jury.

Karl Wehmhoener


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