Middle School Students Protest Bullying After 14-year-old’s Suicide
LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- A call for change is brewing in Pierce County, after a 14-year-old girl took her own life due to alleged bullying at school.
While the school district and police investigate, parents and kids say it's time to start a conversation to change the culture of bullying.
Students lined the sidewalk outside Hudtloff Middle School in Lakewood, waiting to be heard. Their signs read "stop the bullying" and their chant: "Gabby, Gabby, Gabby"
Their chant is for Gabby Cazares, a 14-year-old student to committed suicide Thursday night. Gabby's familly said she did it because she was bullied at school. Her family said she had a medical condition that caused her to lose her hair -- so she wore wigs to school.
"It's sad to think that it actually takes the life of a student to acknowledge these problems," eighth-grader Afnaan Damrah.
She took part in the protest "to show the school that they need to work this out, they need to acknowledge these problems, the bullying problems because it's killing students."
Afnaan's mom is worried about how bullying can impact kids and says, instead of pointing fingers, it's time to start a real conversation.
"When it comes to the extent of a little girl feeling that her only way out, her only escape, is to do what she did, then that shows me right there it's a huge problem. We need to lead by example, that's really the bottom line. It's do as I say, not as I do, and we need to just stop that because there will be another Gabby and that's what is breaking my heart."
Mackenzie Nelson, also an eighth-grader, said, "I want them to remember her being strong because she was a very strong person. She was kind to everyone, she wasn't the type of person to bully people or tease them."
Credit: Q13 Fox