12-year-old boy bullied for being cheerleader commits suicide

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FOLSOM, Calif. — A northern California community is morning the death of a 12-year-old boy who was bullied in school, KTXL reported.

Friends said Ronin Shimizu was made fun of because he was a member of a youth cheerleading squad.

“Bullying him because of cheerleading, it’s not right.  It’s what he loves to do and that’s a human right to do that,” one friend, 11, told FOX 40 News.

The community held a vigil to remember the boy earlier this week.

“We’re just very sad about the situation. We have a lot of fond memories of him, you know,” 17-year-old Jake Tennant told FOX 40.

For Tennant and many others in the crowd, those memories came from crew. Ronin joined the Upper Natoma Rowing Club this year.

“Anytime I talked to him it really brightened my day and made me feel better,” fellow crew member Erik Allen said.

Hunter Reed, 13, befriended Ronin in Folsom Middle School’s drama club.

“He was always so passionate, like he didn’t care what a lot of people said. He just kept going on with life. He was always so happy, like the happiest person I’ve ever met,” Reed said.

It seems that Ronin may have worn that joy and confidence like mask. It’s believed he took his own life because of taunts thrown at him from a few bullies at Folsom Middle School.

He left there last year because of the teasing and enrolled in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District’s home-school program.

“In 6th grade when he left to go home-school…saw him in the locker room. He just looked so happy to leave the schools. He knew he didn’t want to be bullied again,” Reed told FOX 40.

Ronin’s parents didn’t want to speak about the situation.

Folsom Cordova Unified School District officials said they are investigating.

“Well, we were aware of allegations of bullying. I can’t speak to specific allegations, but like all allegations we investigate them fully,” district spokesman Dan Thigpen told the station.

Those who loved Ronin can only hope bullies everywhere learn not to hurt before it’s too late for someone else.

If you or someone you know needs help, the National Suicide Prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

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  • Kenneth Briggs

    sorry for the young lad , but this happens all over . just look back at the school in the bay area where some boys had pictures of a teen age girl that took her life because of some smart ass boys that thought they like to be funny .

    • Alica

      I understand that it happens all over, but that doesn’t make it right. Maybe everyone needs to connect with their children a little more .Then we might be able to end the bullying and make those who were being bullied feel better about themselves and save everyone the grief.

      Prays go to all those who are now missing this sweet young boy.

  • Suzanne Key

    My heart goes out to his family and friends ! He sounds like a wonderful young man ! We need to teach our kids that their words can be devastating and life changing when they are used to bully someone. I have seen what the end result of bullying can be and I don’t wish that pain and heartache on any family !

  • nobody

    This young person would likely have had so much to contribute to society, yet he is gone and the bullies, as always, are what’s left. The bullies will be essentially worthless in comparison to this young fellow. Western society loses so many of its best and brightest and its most decent and kind. So we’re left with the fat headed stupid bullies. We ought to send adults into schools to pick on the bullies. And don’t trot out the usual disproven feel-good nonsense about bullies suffering, too. They don’t.

  • inismagrath

    I can only hope that the bullies feel so much grief and remorse and guilt that they will turn their lives around and become decent human beings. Sadly, I’m not optimistic about that.

  • tomhartman

    You know a boy who wanted to be a cheerleader probably would have been hassled when I was growing up too, the difference is, he wouldn’t have committed suicide. What is different about today? This keeps happening…

  • Joe

    Or they end up running the IRS and target conservatives while teaming up with EPA and other comrades with the same goal of manacling liberty.

  • john

    Rowing & cheer-leading. Ronin seems like he was the quintessential team player. Very sad.
    Remember bullies, FDR, Reagan & GW Bush were all cheerleaders too.

  • Stacey Jones

    Sadness….Maybe you can help the family…
    “Besides dealing with the loss of their beloved child, his parents are now facing the unexpected costs this tragedy has brought.
    Please help us put an end to bullying by educating our children on the devastating effects it can have on another human being.”


  • Audrey Geddes

    This is such a tragic story that should have never happened. The school could have put a stop to this! I am thankful that the Everett School District in Washington State addresses these issues right away and takes them seriously. I just finished a very good book on the subject of bullying that everyone should read called, “Creating Hate: How It Is Done, How To Destroy It: A Practical Handbook,” by Nancy Omeara. For such a short read there is tons of valuable information that is very enlightening. http://www.authornancyomeara.com/

    • Joan

      That’s great, Audrey. I wish our school district in Idaho was the same :-(. But we as parents can be advocates as well. I will check out your book recommend – sounds excellent.

  • sayana prom

    I feel sop bad for him and his family… i wouldn’t know what I would do if that had ever happened to me!
    Sorry for your lost Mrs.&Mr. Shimizu.

  • benjamin gerez

    that is really sad what if that was they were getting bullied like that people only bully because there scared and obnixious.

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