High school still reeling from Acton ...

High school still reeling from Acton teen's suicide

There are 135 comments on the LA Daily News story from Oct 21, 2008, titled High school still reeling from Acton teen's suicide. In it, LA Daily News reports that:

Jeremiah Lasater was a gentle giant. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, he was the kind of teen who could bully kids if he wanted.

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Patty White

North Hollywood, CA

#1 Oct 21, 2008
This is the REASON that I homeschool my 8th and 3rd grade girls. My oldest would have gone to Vasquez next year. My oldest has Asperger's (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and was teased and bullied in elementary and middle school. The school(s) didn't do ANYTHING about it. Even when a bully (boy) threatened to "kill" her during her P.E. class. Her teacher and school admin blamed my daughter for the actions of the other kids toward her. THIS IS WRONG. She has a disorder and was blamed for being bullied????

My heart goes out to this young man and his family and friends. I'm SO glad we moved from Acton two weeks ago and I'm now home schooling them!!!

My question is....how on EARTH did this gun get onto campus? Answer that one school admins!!
So very sad

Fremont, CA

#2 Oct 21, 2008
Please don't take this article as true. There are so many false statements in it. I am embarrassed by it, and wish certain people would accept the blame they deserve. Jeremiah was a victim for years and many, many people knew about it. Rest in peace, Jeremiah.
RIP Jeramiah

Paramount, CA

#3 Oct 21, 2008
My 14 year old Nephew has been attending school with this student since the 3rd grade starting with attending the same elementary school.

My Nephew has many times throughout his school years, reported the two boys who are really at the center of the bullying of this particular student to the administrators. He never saw any actions or intervention taken against these two boys to stop them from their relentless bullying of this kid. In fact, my Nephew said many students would always report the bullying and no one ever saw any adult at that school take any type of action.

The current news about his death stated that there was food being thrown at him in the cafeteria right before he went into the bathroom. Where were the adults that should be stopping food from being thrown in the cafeteria? This school has just a few hundred kids with a campus entirely of mobile buildings/classrooms (the only permanently constructed item is the statue of the school's mascot - a mustang).

This school district is so small, they have only 2 elementary schools, 1 jr. high, and 1 high school. You would think a school district that is that small would be able to quickly and effectively deal with bullies. Well, they probably are able to deal with it, but chose to ignore it.

They are actually a school district that has very little funding and shouldn't have been given unification about 15 years ago and are just a pathetic little district in a rural, ranch community. The spirit of the community is promoting that they are just trying to live the "good life" with basic fundamental community interests.

To see that this kid was driven to take his life with the community's mission statement is the "back to basics" lifestyle is very sad. If you will notice, these kind of shootings are happening in small towns, not the large cities. Now it's happened in another small city, only this time in was in Southern California.

Very sad - I hope these two kids are happy with their results. And the bullies parents - they have sure taught them well. More kids that are raising themselves and the parents have no idea what their kids are doing.

The school district didn't know?- Really! Way to cover you butts! I hope all the students (all a few hundred total of them) get interviewed - that is VERY untrue!
Valerie

Lancaster, CA

#4 Oct 21, 2008
I am incredibly frustrated at the audacity of this schools staff to say they had no idea any bullying was going on and that they have a zero tolerance. Where exactly where were the staff at when this young man's pants were being pulled down in the school hallways, where were they when all of the other name calling and bullying was going on. I do not believe for a second that they had no idea. I have gone to several schools in my life and have yet to EVER attend one that the staff was totally clueless as to the goings on of it's students. I think they just didn't take the bullying serious enough and chalked it up to normal behavior for school age children. Just do not lie to us (because that is what you are doing) and tell us you didn't know. That just makes this tragedy worse. It is time to really become zero tolerance and stop just playacting at it. Use this tragedy to set a firm example that this will no longer be tolerated in any form and don't excuse yourselves from your own responsibility.
RIP Jeramiah

Paramount, CA

#5 Oct 21, 2008
Valerie - There are so many students who told the 3 schools this student attended at this 4 school-district organization.

And the students that told what these 2 bullies were doing saw nothing done about it.

I'm sure readers here are thinking that this is a school district the size of LAUSD - it is not. It is 2 elementary schools, 1 Jr. High and 1 High School. How do you ignore a special needs student being tormented for 7 years and not stop it - all with the same 2 bully students???
momster

Temecula, CA

#6 Oct 21, 2008
It shouldn't have been him, it should have been the others!
RIP Jeramiah

Paramount, CA

#7 Oct 21, 2008
Monster -

These two boys have been taunting and tormenting this poor kid since his was only 7 years old - he was then 14. Why didn't the school people stop this ? What were the two sets of parents of the bullies teaching their rotten kids all these years about compasion?

Aweful, aweful non-humanistic beings....terrible things....
john ramirez

AOL

#9 Oct 21, 2008
how can the school staff be so blind. I bet they knew about just decided not to do anything til the last minute but by that time it was to late.

RIP JEREMIAH LASATER
Lil

Agoura Hills, CA

#10 Oct 21, 2008
I don't buy it!! NOTHING goes unnoticed. Shame on the person who said no one saw it coming. Somebody did and ignored it! Children of all ages who attend special ed classes are targets of meanness. I have an HF autistic child, and I ALWAYS know by the expression on his face if something's not gone right in his day, whether he wants to tell me or not. Cowards, all of you who taunted him or looked the other way. May he not have died in vain. Now the school district can take responsibility for not focusing on the social aspect of this young man's life - something better schools automatically do for the special ed, yet mainstreamed, students. They are particular targets. EVERYONE even slightly familiar w/special needs knows this. This school's staff has blood on it's hands, as do the students who were raised to be mean by loser parents! And everyone else who didn't see this coming!
meee

La Quinta, CA

#11 Oct 21, 2008
I know its your job to post the news to keep people interested, but could you possibly not be so pessimistic about everything. its the last thing we all need right now not too mention some of your facts are ellaborated alot and you make it obvious by saying stuff about hallways and cafeterias because... news flash... we dont have either of those things. it was a horrible thing what happened to such a young man but all we can do is look to ourselves and try to change us, not point the finger or play he said she said.
LA teacher

Desert Hot Springs, CA

#12 Oct 21, 2008
there is no excuse for school officials not taking action. deplorable!
pkesmom

Santa Clarita, CA

#13 Oct 21, 2008
Perhaps we should think twice about sending these "babies' who are only in the 9th grade to high school. They are too young and immature to deal with 16 and 17 year old and the pressure high school brings. This should not ever be allowed to happed again. Tell me that the teachers and other staff members did not see a kid being doused with chili?? Please. And how did this child get ahold of a gun?? Who allows that? Parents need to stand up,. pay attention and save the lives of all our children, before its too late. Unfortunately for this one beautiful boy, its already too late
Kathy

Burbank, CA

#14 Oct 21, 2008
When I read some of the comments I picked up that the school had to know but like many I bet they just closed their eyes and let it be. The article also says that bullies grow out of it..not necessarily. There are plenty of bullies in high schools and adults can also be bullies and they are in workplaces all over this nation. What these kids allegedly did is not normal behavior. What about the parents of the bullies? What was their role? Did they know their kids were bullying a special needs kid? Of course the school has to play dumb and say we didn't know about it because of the possibility of a lawsuit. They should have expelled anyone who teased this kid and allegedly their depraved indifference to the bullying led to this kid's suicide. Sounds like people need to be fired as well.
Johnny Amato

Pico Rivera, CA

#15 Oct 21, 2008
Halperin and Oppenheim should be fired. Their lack of preventative help just shows how bad the Acton Agua Dulce School District is. That school has been a cesspool for years and now that poor kids blood is on their hands.
Just My Opinion

Culver City, CA

#16 Oct 21, 2008
It seems to me that everyone who knew about the bullying, The fact is that children are bullying chilren, and it is the adults who have the responsibity to effect change. The question was raised, how did he get a gun? This small community bears the responsiblity, period. Society as a whole need to understand that children may appear to understand, but the law tells us a child is child when they can not distinguish from right from wrong and need to be supervised. Meaning, the bullies, are childreb and child who was being bully.
Folks talk to your children, and if you find your children are being bully, do not wait for the school system, you take responsiblity and take the bully parents to court.
A Mom

Palmdale, CA

#17 Oct 21, 2008
It may be OK to tease your friends, but it is not OK to tease just anyone.
Just My Opinion

Culver City, CA

#18 Oct 21, 2008
It seems to me that everyone knew about the bullying. The fact is that children are bullying children and it is the adults who have the responsibility to effect change. The question was raised, how did he get a gun? This small community bears the responsibility, period. Society as a whole need to understand that children may appear to understand, but the law tells us a child is child when they can not distinguish from right from wrong and need to be supervised. Meaning, the bullies, are children and child who was being bully.
Folks talk to your children, and if you find your children are being bully, do not wait for the school system, you take responsibility and take the bully parents to court.
SAD

Pomona, CA

#19 Oct 21, 2008
It is with deep sadness I found out Jeremiah is no longer with us. My husband and I didn't know him well but he was very kind and helpful to us and our pets. Although we really don't know his family our heart is with them and we hope and pray to the Creator for his soul. Jeremiah, may the Creator receive your soul and provide you with the happiness that you so much deserve. We will always remember you with love and gratitude. R.I.P.
Johnny Amato

Pico Rivera, CA

#20 Oct 21, 2008
Halperin and Oppenheim should be fired. Their lack of preventative help just shows how bad the Acton Agua Dulce School District is. That school has been a cesspool for years and now that poor kids blood is on their hands.
Concerned in a small town

United States

#21 Oct 21, 2008
It is pretty sad that everybody is so willing to blame the school district and the administration for what this boy did. It is truly tragic what happened, but maybe we should look beyond what wasn't done and what truly was the reason for his actions. Maybe home life, or whatever. NO ONE, having never gone through a suicide can even begin to imagine what it is like. I have been through one and and it is easy to place blame on others instead of just realizing that there could be something more that maybe others, other than the school district, was supposed to see. Just because the administration are all adults doesn't mean that they could have had the foresight to know what was going to happen.. Maybe a peer or somebody else could have seen it. Instead of pointing fingers at people, maybe it is time that we all step up to the plate and get involved when "our kids" come home and tell us stuff instead of putting a deaf ear forward. RIP Jeremiah and may your family find peace during this most difficult time. Staff at VHS, you should be praised for all that you do for these kids in this small town.

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