Parents: Boy Who Killed Himself at School Was Bullied

crescenta-suicideGLENDALE, Calif. — The parents of a 15-year-old Crescenta Valley High School student who jumped to his death on campus last year have filed a lawsuit alleging that district officials turned a “blind eye” to the bullying that they say prompted their son to take his life.

On Feb. 10, Drew Ferraro jumped to his death from a third-story building at the school in front of other students. Not long into the ensuing investigation, a Los Angeles County coroner’s official said Drew did not reference bullying in any of the “very telling” four suicide notes found on his body.

“They didn’t mention anything about being abused or being bullied,” Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said at the time. “He gave a different reason for doing what he did.”

But Drew’s parents, John and Deana Ferraro, countered that bullying was a major factor in Drew’s suicide. In their lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in December, the parents claim that beginning in his freshman year, Drew was bullied “because of his small size, demeanor and style” and “harassed for his attitude toward girls.”

They also allege that school officials did not “attempt to create a safer environment within which Drew could learn and evolve.”

On Tuesday, the family’s attorney, Stanley Lieber, declined to disclose the content of the four letters.

“They were intended for the people they were addressed to. They weren’t for the public,” Lieber said, adding that the parents will keep the letters private “as [Drew] intended.”

“All he discussed was the pain he was going through,” Lieber said.

In August, the school district rejected a claim containing similar allegations of inadequate responses to the alleged bullying. But Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan on Tuesday said he could not comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit described the alleged bullying and back-and-forth between Drew’s parents and school officials about how to deal with the issue.

–Kelly Corrigan, Times Community News

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4 comments

  • Haywood Jablome

    Apparently the lawyer doesn't realize that filing a lawsuit will make these letters very public, as they will be used in the defense of the suit.

  • mystery

    This is terrible a child killing themselves. Obviously, there needs to be skills taught to all parents, children, bullies & families alike to address this horrible issue. Not to mention the schools, but what needs to be addressed is the home environment

  • Rockina2

    A judge can easily suppress evidence and prevent it becoming public. Happens all the time. Just look at the most recent school shootings. Nothing has been released from those cases. They also have these things called "gag orders". Very effective.


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