As of Friday, June 8, 2018
OKANOGAN An investigation into a bullying letter received by an Okanogan Middle School student this spring has determined the girl wrote the letter herself.
A juvenile referral form has been submitted to the Okanogan County Prosecutor’s Office by the sheriff’s office for a possible charge of false reporting against girl, said Sheriff Frank Rogers.
Venice “Vinnie” Anderson, a sixth-grader, reported receiving the letter in March.
The letter, which was posted on Facebook by the girl’s aunt, said, “Dear Venice, guess what? I heard nobody likes you. Thank goodness because you are a dumb (expletive) any ways! Litterally why do you come to this school anyways? You’re an embarrassment to everybody. Do us all a favor and kill yourself!”
Okanogan Superintendent Richard Johnson said the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office has concluded its investigation into who wrote the letter.
“Analysis of the evidence by Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory pointed to Venice as the letter writer, and Venice has confessed that she did write the bullying letter to herself,” said Johnson.
Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers confirmed the investigation is complete.
“The student reported that the anonymous note was placed in (her) notebook while the notebook was left unattended in a classroom,” he said.
A sheriff’s detective contacted middle school Principal Brett Baum the day the note was discovered.
“At that time, it was unknown who wrote the anonymous note,” he said.
School officials spoke with the girl, who indicated she didn’t know who wrote it. Security video at the school did not provide any useful information, Rogers said.
On March 29, school officials reviewed handwriting samples from all sixth-graders. A detective obtained the note, known writing samples from the girl and from another student who had been reported as previously harassing the girl.
The next day, the sheriff’s office sent the note and the writing samples to the state crime lab, and asked that the writing be compared.
On May 16, a crime lab report was received and indicated, in part, that the girl probably wrote the note, Rogers said.
Anderson was interviewed June 6 and she admitted she wrote the note the day after getting into an argument with a sibling, the sheriff said.
“Detectives found during the early stages of the incident that the anonymous note was posted on Facebook and rapidly spread though out social media and the media,” Rogers said. “Detectives also found that resultant rapid spread on social media, and the attention it drew, put enormous pressure on the student to continue the denial of writing the anonymous note.”
“While many innocent children and adults were hurt by this deceptive fabrication, I am asking each of you to forgive this young girl and to move on,” Johnson wrote in a June 8 letter to staff, students and the community. “Keep in mind, we all make mistakes. However, the importance of learning from those mistakes is what makes each of us who we are today.”
Johnson said he hopes the girl knows “she no longer has to carry on the deception and that she will learn from her mistake. In a small community which supported her so strongly, I ask we continue with such support, and am, again, asking we forgive her and her actions.”
After the letter surfaced, the girl received presents, letters of support and widespread publicity.
She told The Chronicle at the time that the support made her feel good and that she wanted only an apology from the person who wrote the note.