WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A rally was held in Wilson County Thursday night for a young student who died by suicide.
15-year-old Allie Johnson took her own life while on a family vacation last month.
At the “Rally for Allie”, there were therapy animals, music and food.
T-Shirts with the words “Be Nice” printed on them were sold to students and parents.
The goal was to reach out to young people who may be struggling so they can see there is “a solution to every problem.”
“This is not the answer,” said Allie’s dad Mike Johnson. “This is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. They rob themselves and they rob their family.”
After Allie’s death, Wilson County schools held a bullying forum to address parent and student concerns.
Following the forum, Wilson County schools started using the app Stop!T, where anyone can report bullying anonymously.
A message is then sent directly to a school official who can investigate the report.
After her death, Johnson wasn’t sure Allie was being bullied but the rumors mill said she was.
Now, Johnson is sure Allie wasn’t being bullied. Instead, he says she was fighting with her friends and felt isolated and depressed.
Still, he’s glad Wilson County is using the app so students won’t feel so alone.
Allie’s friend Macey Justice says the app is a good idea.
“Some people don’t speak out to other people because they’re scared or they think they’re going to be treated differently,” Justice told News 2. “The anonymity is a good idea.”
She said Allie was a loving girl with a kind spirit and was always there for others.
Even now, she’s “there”. She says Allie’s death has opened a dialogue among high school friends about bullying and being kind to one another.
Mike Johnson also had a message for parents.
“Pay attention and be active with your kids,” he said. “Ask questions. Try relate to them, with them, and for them. Be there.”
Johnson says he hopes to make the Rally for Allie an annual event.