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School News

By Charlotte Hopkins

Sixteen-year-old, Thomas Jefferson High School student, Mya Greschner, has embarked on a personal battle against bullying.

 

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Having lost two people to suicide, after being bullied, Thomas Jefferson High School student, Mya Greschner deiced to try and make a difference.

It began when her 12-year-old cousin, Alexis “Lexi” Lis, a 6th-grade student at South Brook Middle School took her life after enduring months of being bullied. Lis tried desperately to fit in with classmates. She often changed her hairstyle and style of clothes, hoping to end the bullying and gain a friend instead. Lexi's mother, Therese Lis described how girls would harass and trick Lexi, then blackmail her by sending pictures all over social media. It all ended on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, when Lis killed herself to escape the bullies.

Just ten days later, on November 21, Greschner's friend and classmate, Jeno Moretti was reported missing. Fifteen-year-old Moretti was also a 10th-grade student at Thomas Jefferson High School. Within the days that followed, it was revealed that he was another victim of cyberbullying. There was an Instagram page, “Exposing TJ,” targeting Thomas Jefferson School staff and students, like Moretti. Search crews were brought in from other states to search for Moretti. Surveillance footage showed him walking up the stairs to the bridge, yet there was no video of him coming back down. On December 4, Moretti’s body was recovered from the Monongahela River. It is believed by many that the comments from the “Exposing TJ” page made life unbearable for Moretti, driving him to commit suicide.

After losing two people that she cared about in such a short period of time - Greschner sought ways to help the families. She started a ‘Go Fund Me’ page for the Lis family with a goal of $10,000 to help pay for a headstone/memorial for Lis. “Lexi deserves to be honored for the special 12 years and five days she was our daughter, family member, and friend,” said mother Therese. The Go Fund Me page has since raised $1,180.

Greschner also held her first fundraiser, the “Lexi Lis and Jeno Moretti Night,” on January 6, at the Interchange Lounge. It included a Chinese auction and a 50/50 raffle. The event raised $6,010 that was divided between the two families.

Mia Rodgers, of the Interchange Lounge, stated, “These tragedies hit home being in our community and we want to raise as much money as possible for these hurting families. This a cause important to us at the Interchange Lounge. We do not tolerate bullying of any kind and want it to be prevented at all costs. We want a safe community for our youth.”

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Students, Jeno Moretti and Lexi Lis, took their own lives after enduring months of bullying.

Greschner explained, “Nothing I say or do can change the way they are feeling and I thought this would help them with their finances. They have funeral expenses, and with Covid, the families have been out of work. Jeno's family had to pay for River Guides to help in the search for their son.”

Greschner is focused on raising awareness about bullying, and hoping to drive changes. She would like to see a peer group started at school that addresses bullying.

“I just want to be able to spread awareness,” Greschner said. “If everyone respects people more and doesn't judge them on what they look like or what they have, and don't have, and to just be a little kinder, we would have a lot less suicide. I want to be able to help other kids who are being bullied.”

For students who need someone to talk to, Greschner said she is one message away and is happy to talk to them. She can be reached on Facebook or through her email myargreschner@gmail.com.

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