A 15-year-old boy who committed suicide at Crescenta Valley High School last week left a note explaining his actions, authorities said Monday, though they declined to elaborate on its contents.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said the note was found on sophomore Drew Ferraro’s body and was addressed to several family members and friends.
While declining to reveal the contents of the note, Corina did dispel rumors that Drew was prompted by bullying.
“I know there has been a lot of speculation about bullying — it had nothing to do with that,” Corina said.
There was also no indication that alcohol or drugs played a role in the incident, said Corina, adding that the student had apparently been battling depression.
A Los Angeles County coroner’s official said Monday that the death had officially been ruled a suicide. Sheriff’s officials said that Drew got a running start before jumping from a three-story school building Friday and landing in a courtyard filled with students and staff members during the lunch break.
The roof was secured and investigators have not been able to pinpoint exactly how Drew accessed it, Corina said. Nevertheless, a 15-year-old unafraid of falling would have had little trouble, he said.
Glendale Unified is conducting its own internal investigation, district spokesman Steven Frasher said.
In the aftermath of the incident, a makeshift memorial sprouted on campus and friends gathered at a local community youth center to remember Drew, a member of the junior varsity football team and a music fanatic who kept friends entertained with his indefatigable humor.
“He would make jokes all the time, no matter what,” Emilly Perez, 15, said Friday. “Even if you were having a bad day he would crack and joke and you would easily laugh.”
Ian McBride recalled how Drew befriended him during a particularly lonely time while the two were in eighth grade at Rosemont Middle School.
“Drew was the only one who really welcomed me into their group [of friends],” Ian, 15, said. “I was just hanging out at the top of the amphitheater and he started talking to me. He was a really nice guy.”
On Tuesday, fresh off a three-day holiday weekend, students planned to sport heavy-metal-themed T-shirts in his honor.
It was one of several gestures of remembrance that have materialized in the wake of the incident, which has rocked the Crescenta Valley community.
Grief counselors continue to be made available and Principal Michelle Doll planned to briefly address the incident through the school’s public announcement system, Frasher said.
The district also made allowances for substitute teachers, but Frasher said staff members expressed a desire to be on campus to help their students cope.
A memorial to Drew at the front of the school during the weekend included photos, flowers, candles and a spiral-bound notebook with the words “extra paper” written across the front. Any additional tokens of remembrance should be taken to Crippen Mortuary on Honolulu Avenue, according to a note signed “the Ferraro family.”
Rosemont Middle School Principal Cynthia Livingston on Monday called on the community to write notes of love and encouragement on Valentine’s Day cards to be distributed to Crescenta Valley High students and staff Tuesday.
“I want our CVHS family to know that we are all there for them,” Livingston wrote in an email received by hundreds, if not thousands, of community members. “The last 48 hours have been difficult and confusing. Collectively, we are seeking comfort.”
A representative for Crippen Mortuary said a funeral service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Tujunga.