Mom says son left suicide note over bullying at Greenwood Lakes
Son is bullied at same school where 14-year-old committed suicide, mom says
LAKE MARY, Fla. – A Seminole County mother says she found her 11-year-old son's suicide note saying he wanted to take his life because he's being bullied.
Melissa Gusaeff says her son Jordan is in sixth grade at Greenwood Lakes Middle School, the same school where 14-year-old Lamar Hawkins committed suicide on campus last week. Hawkins parents say he did it because he was bullied at school.
"I don't even know how many other children are going through and just not saying it," Gusaeff said.
Jordan and Lamar were best friends, according to Gusaeff. The two hit it off on the first day of school when they realized they are both from New York and had lunch together every day, according to Gusaeff.
They were also both the targets of bullies she said.
"Someone has to come out and say it's not stopping because it has not stopped," Gusaeff said, referring to the bullying.
Gusaeff says she went to school administrators after one of the bullies stabbed her son in the neck with a pencil two weeks ago.
She says she was promised a copy of the video from the school bus that could have shown the incident, but she says she never got it.
Local 6 asked Lisa Page who is the prevention specialist with Seminole County Schools if enough is being done to prevent bullying.
She says the district has numerous programs for bully prevention, including a bullying hotline, where tips go straight to a school's principal for investigation.
"Is it a perfect world? Of course it's not," Page said. "But I feel like we are putting forth some really strong efforts in Seminole County."
But that doesn't sit well with Gusaef, who says her son is still dealing bullies after his best friend took his life.
"My son is traumatized, and I can imagine how many other kids are traumatized, because I'm traumatized and I'm 35," she said.
A district spokesperson said they could not comment about Gusaeff's case because they haven't had time to investigate.
The Seminole County Sheriff's Office says they are still investigating Hawkins' suicide and can't say whether bullying was a factor.
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