Bullied and taunted: A mother's warning to parents after finding son's suicide note

Bullied and taunted: A mother's warning for parents after finding son's suicide note (WPEC)

A Wellington mother on a mission after a gut-wrenching discovery in her son’s room -- a suicide note.

Shawna Humphrey is sharing her story to warn all parents and caretakers to pay attention, as it could save a life.

“Today, I would’ve been the day of making funeral arrangements for my son,” she said.

Humphrey was cleaning her son, Corey “C.J.” Humphrey’s room when she found his suicide note.

“Had I not done that, I probably would’ve come home from work Sunday and found my son’s body," she said.

Three handwritten pages, each with a different heading: They were right, giving up, goodbye.

“He means, goodbye, like this is forever. This is eternal,” Humphrey said. “He didn’t express how he was going to do it.”

Corey developed vitiligo in second grade, a condition which causes the skin to lose pigmentation.

She said Corey experienced years of torment at the hands of bullies, but that things got worse when he enrolled at Renaissance Charter School in Wellington last August.

“Out of a class of 19, he said 14 kids would pick on him, saying ‘eww,’ make cow sounds, or ‘get out of here’,” Humphrey said.

The physical and verbal abuse only grew worse, according to Humphrey. She went to the school, she even called police.

“They’ve don’t nothing,” she said. “They said there was surveillance. I asked for the surveillance, and they said they couldn’t let me watch it because there were other kids involved. The police officer said he watched the video. He said that my son was the aggressor, however my son was never punished.”

But Humphrey claims Corey simply had enough and was fighting back.

“He said, ‘Mommy please just take me out of the school please, I’m tired of it’,” she said.

Renaissance Charter released this statement to CBS12:

It is always heartbreaking to hear of any child who has reached a possible crisis situation with their mental health. As a school, we are very proactive in approaching each situation brought before us. We conduct thorough investigations, address any inappropriate behaviors and constantly check in with the student who brought forth the allegations to see if everything is ok and how things are going. We work with the information we are given and take all appropriate actions based on that information. We work with students regularly to help them understand how words can hurt and how to treat others with respect. Our school follows the bullying protocol set forth by the Palm Beach County School district and we take all allegations of bullying very seriously.”
– Colleen Reynolds, spokesperson for Renaissance Charter School at Wellington.

Bully reporting protocol:

  1. Student/parent brings bullying allegation to attention of someone at school.
  2. A bullying report form is completed (from the Palm Beach County School District) either by the parent, the student or the teacher/administrator to whom the allegation was brought.
  3. An investigation must begin by the end of the next school day and must be completed within 10 days.

A. An investigation includes:

i. Interview with the target

ii. Interview (s) with the accused

iii. Interviews with witnesses

iv. Review of any surveillance video if applicable

v. Review of any social media if applicable

4. Once the investigation is completed – appropriate actions are taken:

If the bullying is founded:

i. Appropriate consequences are given to any person who is guilty based on severity of situation.

ii. Parents of all students involved are called and informed. It is against the law to discuss any other student’s disciplinary actions. Disciplinary actions for any student can only be discussed with that student’s parents.

iii. Safety plans are put into place which may include:

-Changing classes if necessary

-Wellness checks

-Keeping students who don’t get along away from each other if the other child remains at school

-Counseling if necessary

Humphrey hopes her story will inspire parents to pay attention. Do not ignore the warning signs or red flags.

“You don’t know what they’re dealing with," she said. "Go through cell phones, go through bookbags. Check their room."

Corey enrolled in a new school, as of this Monday. Of course, Humphrey’s biggest fear is that the bullying will continue. However, he is seeking counseling for now as he starts this new chapter in his life.

In the latest report, Palm Beach County ranked second in the state in the number of suicides.

To reach a helpline 24 hours a day, just dial 211 or visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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