Was Bullying a Factor In Student’s Suicide?

Image Credit: Glendale News Press

The suicide on school grounds of a 15-year-old Crescenta Valley High School student has parents, friends, and school officials questioning contributing factors in the death. His parents claim Drew’s journals were filled with accounts of bullying. School officials and investigators say no mention of bullying was made in several suicide notes found on Drew.

Days after their 15-year-old son died after jumping off of a third-story building at his high school, the parents of Drew Ferraro said they learned by reading his journal that he had been bullied by classmates in the last months of his life.

“There was name-calling, pushing down the hall, pulling his backpack, punching him in the back,” his mother, Deana Ferraro, said in an interview with KCBS-TV.

Drew Ferraro, a sophomore at Crescenta Valley High School, leaped from the top of the building overlooking the school quad, falling to the ground when other students were nearby eating lunch.

Glendale Unified school officials previously said bullying hadn’t been a factor in the suicide, and Ferraro said she and her husband weren’t aware of the bullying until after her son’s death, when she read his journal. LA Times, 22 Feb 2012

According to a 2008 study conducted at Yale, Bullying affects roughly 30% of students, and bullied students are 2 to 9 times more likely to experience suicidal thoughts than non-bullied students. School officials have a greater responsibility for protecting students from bullying after the much publicized deaths of Megan Meier, Tyler Clementi, Phoebe Prince, Jamey Rodemeyer, and Jacob Rogers.

For more information on bullying, please visit this website.