CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Crisis Counselors were doing their best Wednesday to help students and staff at Genoa-Kingston High School deal with the death of a 14-year-old freshman who took his own life on Tuesday, possibly due to bullying.
The DeKalb County Coroner confirmed the suicide, and said a gun was found in the boy’s home in Kingston. He was not being identified because he was a minor.
The high school, which has about 650 students, was in crisis mode for a second day with numerous students coming in for counseling.
“I would say upwards of 50, have had direct services, but like I said in a small community all of our kids have been impacted by this,” said Joe Burgess, the District 424 Superintendent.
Burgess would not comment about whether the boy had reported any bullying, but there are indications he may have been a victim.
“I heard the rumors from other kids and there were just a bunch of people talking about it in the school that there was a particular group of kids that bullied him,” said a Genoa-Kingston junior who asked not to be identified.
Two students from Genoa-Kingston Middle School, where the boy went last year, also said he had been the victim of bullying, perhaps starting in 6th grade. But none of those who spoke to FOX 32 News knew if it had ever been reported.
The middle school principal, Angelo Lekkas, would not comment, but said the middle school has an anti-bullying club, locked drop boxes in school where people can anonymously report bullying and a curriculum to educate students on what to do if they are victims or witnesses.
This case has some parents having renewed discussions with their kids.
"I have basically told my kids, if they ever have a problem they need to come to somebody, it's either me, their father, their cousins, whoever you feel comfortable with," said Mindy Dobzynski, who said she was a friend of the victim’s family.
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department is handling the case and said there was no information at this preliminary stage of the investigation to substantiate the reports of bullying. They are looking into how the boy got the gun.