MARION, Ind. - Police in Marion are investigating the suicide of a seventh-grade girl at McCulloch Junior High School on Monday.
Braylee Rice, 14, hanged herself with a necktie on the bleachers behind the school, where she was found by a group of students Monday, police said.
"She was in a class in the gym. At some point, she was able to go outside. We believe, at that time, she hanged herself," said Marion Police Deputy Chief Cliff Sessoms.
There was some buzz on social media that Rice, an honor roll student, may have been bullied, but the school district denied the claims.
"There has been speculation about a connection to bullying, but at this early point in the investigation, there has been no indication of such a connection," the district said in a statement.
Some parents told RTV6 that Rice had warned on her Facebook page that she was planning to commit suicide. Her page had been taken down Monday.
"It's unbelievable. It's unbelievable. It doesn't seem possible," said parent Kristy Blakley.
Students were kept in their classrooms for the day, instead of moving from class to class or being released early, but school officials stressed that the building was not on lockdown, and many parents opted to pick up their children.
"In light of the tragic circumstances, we decided, after consulting with the State Department of Education, to keep school in session today on a modified schedule. Out of concern for the safety of those children who may have gone home to empty houses, we opted to keep school open and in session," the district said in a statement.
School officials said counseling was provided to students during school hours and on the bus that Rice rode.
Watch RTV6 and refresh this page for updates.