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Family of Rio Allred settles lawsuit with Elkhart Community School district

 Rio Allred
Photo provided, Rio's Rainbow
Rio Allred. Rio's family settled a lawsuit with the Elkhart School District in July 2023. Rio died by suicide after dying by suicide in March 2022.

The family of a girl who died by suicide last year after she was apparently bullied while attending North Side Middle School has settled its lawsuit against the school district.

Rio Allred was 12 when she took her life in March of 2022. Allred’s family claimed Rio was bullied by students are North Side after she was diagnosed with alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss

In September, Rio’s family filed a lawsuit against Elkhart Community Schools claiming Rio was called names such as “naked mole rat” and “bug-eyed alien” and physically assaulted on multiple occasions.

In response to the suit, the district denied that staff failed to follow anti-bullying policies.

The lawsuit sought $4 million in damage, but was settled in mid-July for an amount that is currently not clear. WVPE has filed a records request seeking the terms of the settlement and representatives from the school district did not immediately respond to interview requests.

A law firm representing Rio Allred’s family also did not answer questions about the settlement from WVPE on Monday.

Rio’s death prompted a student walkout and calls for the district to do more to address bullying.

Elkhart Community Schools is the license holder for WVPE.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.