Friends and parents said seventh-grader Ronin Shimizu took his own life Wednesday because of ongoing bullying.
According to a family friend, Ronin had been bullied for years throughout elementary school and middle school. Last year, Ronin was in sixth grade at Folsom Middle School. The bullying got to be so bad, Ronin was taken out of school and had to be home-schooled, according to several classmates and parents.Friends said Ronin was bullied for being a cheerleader while he was with the Vista Jr. Eagles squad.“He was bullied very badly,” Riley Coleman said as she teared up. The Folsom Middle School sixth grader is on the Vista Jr. Eagles cheerleading team. “It’s not OD to bully people,” she said through tears.“So sad to know that people can hurt you that way,” student Allie Flahive said.
“I was devastated when I found out. I started crying,” Ronin’s friend Grace Velander said. “I’ve known him since sixth grade. I and he had classes all last year together.”
“He was just a sweet child. For him to feel that hopeless is heart-breaking,” concerned parent Cynthia Brown said.Stephanie Doherty, another parent, said, “I can’t imagine a child taking it to that level. I’ve had a son that’s been bullied. It’s so scary.”The principal at Folsom Middle School emailed parents about Ronin’s death:Dear Folsom Middle families: I’m writing with a heavy heart today. By now you have heard about the tragic death of one of our former students. Ronin Shimizu briefly attended Folsom Middle last year as a sixth-grader, and this news has deeply saddened many of our students and staff who knew him.Today we have and will continue to provide counseling and support to students and staff who need assistance dealing with their grief. And while do not know all of the circumstances surrounding Ronin’s passing; we will continue our work to maintain a safe, caring and positive school environment free from bullying and harassment.
I encourage you to talk to you child about how they are processing this news, what feelings they may be experiencing and if they need any help. In the meantime, please keep this student’s family in your thoughts during this difficult time. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Principal John Bliss
Via News 10