Three complaints were filed against the management of the college, the academy of Lille and the police officers in charge of the investigation for "non-assistance to person in danger", detailed the lawyer of the family, Me Pierre Debuisson, at a press conference in Vendin-le-Vieil (Pas-de-Calais), where the schoolgirl, who committed suicide on May 12, was schooled.

A fourth targets the social network Facebook "completely failing" in terms of content moderation and the fight against "hate speech", according to the lawyer.

He denounced harassment against Lindsay that continues on Instagram, citing a "public account (...) in which it is written + Lindsay is finally dead+".

Four minors were indicted in this case for "school harassment leading to suicide", as part of a judicial investigation, announced on May 25 the prosecutor of Bethune. An adult has been indicted for "death threats". All were placed under judicial control.

"I couldn't take it anymore"

"If everyone had done their job to protect Lindsay, she would be alive today," insisted the lawyer, after reading a letter written by the girl several months before her suicide, communicated, he stressed, to the academy, the college and the police.

"If you read this letter it is because I am surely gone (...) I couldn't get enough of the insults morning and night, the mockery, the threats (...) despite everything that happened they will always wish me harm, "wrote the schoolgirl.

The lawyer for Lindsay's family, Pierre Debuisson, makes a statement to the press on June 1, 2023 in Vendin-le-Vieil, North © DENIS CHARLET / AFP

"If we had been helped, if we had been supported, I'm sure my daughter would be here," said her mother, Betty. "I tried everything, I did everything, we were not helped, we were dropped, completely, no support, neither before, nor during, nor after," she said.

The mother of Lindsay's best friend, Maëlys, has testified to ongoing harassment against her daughter: "we ask her why she has not been there for her girlfriend", tells her that she "better go and join her".

"I appealed "several times to the college, the CPE (principal education advisor) did not care," also accused the mother of Oceane, another friend of Lindsay.

Protocol "insufficient"

Contacted by AFP, the rectorate of the academy of Lille did not wish to comment.

He had announced last week the opening of an administrative investigation, conceding that the school services could have "gone further in the follow-up" of the girl.

The teenager, enrolled in 4th grade at Bracke-Desrousseau College, committed suicide on May 12 in the evening at her home, according to the rectorate.

Lindsay's parents, during a press conference, on June 1, 2023 in Vendin-le-Vieil, North © DENIS CHARLET / AFP

"The mother was received, Lindsay was received by the nurse, by the CPE, by the principal" after the report of harassment, had pleaded on May 26 in front of the press Jean-Roger Ribaud, academic director in the Pas-de-Calais.

"We triggered the protocol, it gave a disciplinary council" which "made it possible to exclude one of the main authors of what happened," he added. "But it unfortunately proved insufficient."

A support cell has been set up since May 15 in the college and a white march was organized on May 24 in memory of the girl.

"All my thoughts are with Lindsay and her loved ones as despicable attacks continue on social media," National Education Minister Pap Ndiaye tweeted Wednesday.

A system for the prevention of bullying, the pHARe program, tested since 2019 in elementary schools and colleges of six academies, is due to complete its generalization this year.

According to the ministry, 91% of colleges and 64% of schools are already enrolled in this program, in addition to other anti-bullying measures, such as the emergency numbers 3020 (for families and victims), and 3018 (cyberbullying).

© 2023 AFP