Gardens bullying victim speaks out after teen's suicide

By Tara Cardoso - bio | email

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL (WFLX) - A local admits he knows how painful being bullied can be. He opens up after a Port St. Lucie teen commits suicide.

When the local pre-teen heard about the Port St. Lucie teen; even though, police aren't saying for sure that the bullying is what led to Celina Okwuone's suicide, he wanted to come forward to show people how real the pain of bullying is and how he could identify with what she might have been feeeling.

"It's depressing. You always have to go to school wondering who is going to call you names," said the 12-year-old student.

He says he's been bullied, picked on and even beat up at school at HL Watkins Middle School in Palm Beach Gardens.

"I want to say heart-broken that little girl, so depressed that she could do that," he said describing Celina's death. He also said he's felt the same way.

"She looked vibrant and happy, but pictures don't tell the whole story. They don't show the ugly and hurt on the inside," said the pre-teen's mom.

She's also speaking out because, she says, bullying goes on more than anyone wants to admit. "After a while, they start to believe that they are no good -- worthless, fat."

This middle school student claims coming forward at his school makes no difference, and, he says, it actually made things worse for him. "They talk to the kids, and they apologize. But they don't really, and they keep picking on you, and call you snitch."

Getting his mother involved didn't help either. "If the parents come forward, they say, 'Mommy's boy, tattle tale.'"

So, as he continues to live with the daily torture of bullying, he has one message for teachers and parents. "If they see a kid down or depressed, ask them what's wrong because it could lead to something worse."

This boy's family is suing the school district. The school district has told us it can't comment on pending lawsuits and cannot talk about specific children because of privacy laws. But we can tell you every school has anti-bullying policies.