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VA Parents: Concussion, Bullying Contributed to Daughter’s Suicide

As Reported on NBC4:

A Virginia family still grieving from the loss of their 17-year-old daughter, who took her own life, said bullying contributed to her death.

Payton Freeze was found dead in her family’s home in Prince William County last month.

Her father, Brent Freeze, told News4’s Darcy Spencer that Payton, a senior at Battlefield High School, revealed to him the day before that she was being bullied at school.

“We don’t want any other parent to have to go through this,” Freeze said.

Adding to the family’s loss, the Freezes learned after Payton’s death she suffered from CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a condition doctors said she developed after getting a concussion while playing soccer in 2014.

“It only took speaking to the doctors at NIH to start realizing, oh my goodness this was – she was suffering,” Freeze said.

Payton’s family believes the effects of the concussion, combined with the bullying, drove Payton to harm herself.

“It is our words, it is our actions that cause people pain, and when we see it, we need to do something to try to stop that,” Freeze said.

The family has joined with community members to form the Freeze Bullying For Payton Facebook page and Payton’s Project to bring awareness to bullying.

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