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Student who jumped off high school roof was bullied, parents say

February 22, 2012 |  9:01 am

Drew Ferraro

This post has been corrected. See note at bottom for details.

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.

He was remembered at his funeral last week as a caring young man who was a champion of the marginalized, with a wild sense of humor (one of his most recent antics: stripping naked and running down the street wrapped in bubble wrap).

Now, his family told KCBS they hope to raise money and start a foundation in their son's name to campaign against bullying.

"If somebody looks upset, hand them a tissue, pat them on the back -- it makes a difference," Deana Ferraro said. "Teenagers, children, don't realize the impact of their words. Words scar and they hurt."

For the record:10:55 a.m., 2/22/12: An earlier version of this post implied that Crescenta Valley High School is in the Los Angeles Unified School District. It is part of the Glendale Unified School District.


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-- Rick Rojas

Photo: A memorial with a portrait of Drew Ferraro at Crescenta Valley High School. Credit: Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press