Bullying claims by parents stand in contrast to official line

Statements by the parents of a Crescenta Valley High School student who killed himself earlier this month that bullying may have played a factor contradict initial assessments made by officials in the days after his death.

Drew Ferraro, 15, jumped from the roof of a three-story school building into a cement courtyard during lunch period on Feb. 10, horrifying witnesses and stunning the larger community.

In an interview with KCBS-TV, his parents cited personal journal entries that revealed Drew was the target of harassment at school, including name-calling and pushing, and that it might have been a factor in his death.

“The fact that he did do it at school, to me, was a huge statement,” his mother, Deana Ferraro said.

But the Ferraro family's assertions that Drew was bullied stand in stark contrast with those of law enforcement and Glendale Unified officials, who continue to maintain that bullying played no role in the incident.

Days after Drew's death, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said a note addressed to the sophomore's family and friends had ruled out bullying.

“I know there has been a lot of speculation about bullying — it had nothing to do with that,” Corina said at the time.

Glendale Unified officials also said that they were unaware of any bullying.

“We stand by our initial statements,” the district's spokesman, Steven Frasher, said Tuesday. “And yes, it has been looked into.”

Frasher declined to comment on whether Drew had a record of behavioral or mental health problems.

An internal investigation is ongoing, he said, adding that a final report would be made to the school board during a closed meeting some time in the future.

John and Deana Ferraro said they were not aware that their son was being harassed at school until they began reading his journal after his death.

-- Megan O'Neil, Times Community News

Twitter: @megankoneil

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