LA CRESCENTA (CBS) — Crescenta Valley High School Friday was temporarily placed on lockdown after a 15-year-old student jumped to his death in the campus’ central quad area, a watch commander at the Crescenta Valley Station said.
The fatal fall at 2900 Community Avenue was reported to the Sheriff’s Department about 12:22 p.m. Friday, authorities said.
Drew Ferraro jumped from the roof of a three-story structure in front of horrified classmates.
“We saw the body on the floor and it was just all blood, everywhere,” 11th grader Seline Babayan said. “Everyone was traumatized; They were crying. It was horrible — I didn’t even want to look — so I just turned around.”
Glendale Unified School District officials said counselors and psychologists were made available to students and their families, and a crisis counseling team will be on the campus all next week. The school will be closed Monday.
“Our thoughts are with the family at this very difficult time. Our first concern is for the well being of all of our students. Together with our supportive community we will help our students get through this,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Richard Sheehan said in a statement released Friday.
Parents were asked pick up their children from the emergency gate at Ramsdell Avenue, the Public Information Office for Glendale Unified School District said. Many of them waited for hours as students were released, one by one.
“They’re shook up,” said Kim Arnold, who was waiting outside for her two daughters while maintaining phone contact. “They’re all together, and, I think, having all the kids grouped together on the field…they’ve been able to talk and hold each other. It’s tragic, it’s just horrible.”
The circumstances surrounding the suicide were not immediately clear.
School officials said they do not believe Ferrero committed suicide because he was a victim of bullying but his friends paint a different picture.
Several classmates said Ferraro was bullied for being different.
“He definitely was bullied and he didn’t want to go to school. I know how it feels because I was bullied and I didn’t want to go to school,” said Ferraro’s friend Meghan Dorosy, who witnessed him jump off the school building.
Glendale Unified Schools spokesperson Steven Frasher said he doesn’t believe bullying was the problem.
“There’s no indication, whatsoever, that bullying played into this scenario,” Frasher said.
Close friend Olin Tellefsen said Ferraro was a smart, witty kid who played football and loved heavy metal, concerts and his friends. Tellefsen said Ferraro was taunted. He mentioned Ferraro was involved in a fight with several boys last year that upset him deeply but he never expected this.
At a candlelight vigil at the school Friday night, Tellefsen said, “He always seemed like he had something on his mind but it was never…never indicative of anything like this.”
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