Family calls on school to intervene against bullying

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LITCHFIELD PARK - In October a West Valley seventh-grader wrote in a class assignment that he wanted to kill himself and was scared and didn't know what to do.

He says since then the bullying that drove him to write that note has worsened and school officials have failed to do enough.

The teen attends Wigwam Creek Middle School in Litchfield Park.

He says he's been the target of anti-gay slurs and other bullying in school and online for two years, often while teachers were nearby.

Last month the student reached out to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community youth activist Caleb Liaski, who was himself a victim of bullying at a different West Valley school. Liaski sent a note to Wigwam Creek officials writing in part: "[School officials] are failing to intervene and when intervention is occurring, they are not providing adequate discipline to deter or put an end to this ongoing issue."

The teen's mother says since then school officials suggested she homeschool her son or transfer him to another school.

"I was recently told to remove my son from school for the next six weeks and to homeschool him or change his school," she said. "So basically they are supporting the bully and trying to get rid of the victim."

Wigwam Creek Principal Dave Mayer told 3TV the school goes to great lengths to discourage bullying and takes disciplinary action against bullies whenever possible.

"We try to stay on top of it, we have 900 kids and we try to be vigilant, but we need kids' help, too," Mayer said. "We try to educate them."

The family says they're considering taking legal action against the Litchfield elementary school district for what they say is the school's failure to intervene.