Rio Allred’s story inspires, saves life of teen

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 11:43 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - A Concord High School student said Rio Allred’s story helped save her life.

Rio died by suicide back in March, after heartbreaking claims that she was bullied at school.

Students across Michiana are opening up about being bullied even demanding schools do more.

On Friday night, 16 News Now heard Summer Troyer’s story.

14-year-old Summer Troyer is putting her talents to work in hopes that it will bring joy and happiness to Rio Allred’s family.

Last school year, Summer says she was physically, verbally, and psychologically bullied while in the color guard at Concord High School.

She says the bullying was constant.

“And then it was just getting super overwhelming, and I kept reporting and kept reporting,” Summer recalled. “Nothing happened.”

She had anxiety attacks too.

“There was this point where I was getting super stressed out and my body completely shut down. I had to go to the hospital. I almost died,” Summer said.

Summer then heard about Rio’s story. A student who took her own life back in March after being bullied multiple times at North Side Middle School.

“I felt really bad and I was like, ‘This girl did this because of bullying. What I’m going through right now,’” she said. “I felt really bad. My mom was getting kind of involved with the Rio’s Rainbow page and all kinds of stuff.”

Summer said she began feeling connected to Rio and was able to start healing from personal pain... and then she started drawing Rio.

“I put a little rainbow flower crown for Rio’s Rainbow and a little heart in the name of Rio,” Summer said. “It’s to represent the little heart in the Rio’s Rainbow,” Summer said.

Rio’s family reached out to Summer and asked if they could put the design on t-shirts. Now, Summer is working on another drawing, this time for Rio’s mom, Niki Ball.

“I found a reference that I really really liked... like a little angel girl hugging her mother. I was like that is Niki and Rio and I have to make that into a drawing,” Summer said.

Summer says no parent should have to suffer from losing a child to bullying which is why she believes schools should be doing more.

“Yeah, they need to take bullying way more seriously. Like there needs to be way more precautions. Some of the smaller things, they may be small, but they can be detrimental,” Summer finished.

16 News Now reached out to Concord Community Schools for comment but have not heard back at this time.

Follow 16 News Now as we follow up with Summer in the leading months.

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