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Published November 05, 2010, 04:16 PM

Cooperstown Girl's Suicide Prompts Anti-Bullying Facebook Site; More Than 6,000 Join

A Facebook page simply titled “Cassidy Joy Andel” has become a virtual anti-bullying rally point for more than 6,000 people.

By: J. Shane Mercer, Forum Communications

A Facebook page simply titled “Cassidy Joy Andel” has become a virtual anti-bullying rally point for more than 6,000 people.

“Create T-shirts! Pass them out and tell her story,” one post read.

“And maybe start taking control and make consequences for those who bully people,” another read.

“I'm asking PARENTS to get involved.”

One person urged people to contact legislators. Many others offered their prayers and sympathy to the Andel family.

The rapidly growing group on the Facebook social media page was created to fight bullying and tell the story of Andel, a Cooperstown youth who hanged herself early Thursday morning.

Griggs County Sheriff Bob Hook said bullying may have been a factor in her suicide.

Annie Shove posted a no-tice for a "Light the Way" Facebook movement, which urges Facebook users to change their pro-file picture to that of a candle on Nov. 7th.

The 28-year-old from Fargo sees it as a way to let hurting young people know “they’re not alone.”

"Poeple coming together; strength in numbers,” she said.

The idea for the move-ment came after she heard news of Andel's death. Shove was bullied in high school and said Andel’s suicide “just really hit close to home.”

“I’ve been there,” she said.

Kassy Wenzel of Valley City offered to give presentations on bullying. She says it's something she knows about personally.

"I want to help because of the effects bullying can have on someone," Wenzel said in a Facebook message to The Forum. "I would go home everyday after school and listen to the song 'Don't Laugh At Me by Mark Wills.' The song always made me feel better."

Michelle Mennis, a college freshman from Aberdeen, S.D., who plans to go into education joined the group. She offered to help in whatever way she should.

"As a future teacher, I want to do whatever I can to help control bullying," Mennis said in a Facebook message. "Everywhere I look, I see it, and it disgusts me. I see it on Facebook every day. I see it in the cafeteria, or through text messages. Even at the college level, believe it or not."

Stacy Van Houten-Roach's comment reflected the sentiments of so many others who stopped by the page.

"I didn't know Cassidy personally but I am deeply saddened to hear of her death," wrote Houten-Roach. "My heart goes out to her family and friends, and I pray she is resting peacefully.

Other comments on the Facebook group page include:

- “Cassidy's Law will become reality in 2011 with YOUR help. We have teamed up with lawmakers, administrators, parents and students to draft legislation, introduce on the House floor and on to approval in Spring 2011. Join us - let the powers that be know ‘IT ENDS TODAY!’ Cassidy will not have died in vain.”

- “What a great way to honor her memory!”

- “Wrist bands like lance armstrong that say stop bullying save lives n have her name n rip.”

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