Friends and neighbors of Tehachapi 13-year-old who attempted suicide Sunday said the boy is openly gay and was taunted by bullies for years, at school and at a local park.
The bullying might have been what led him to try to take his own life, friends said. The boy hanged himself at his own home from a tree and has been on life support since Sunday, according to the Tehachapi Police Department.
He previously attended Jacobsen Middle School, but was put on independent study this year. Friends said he was still bullied outside of school for being gay and bisexual, but he didn't tell close friends how the bullying affected him.
Police said they are investigating whether the attempted suicide was linked to bullying.
District administrators said they have no reports of the teen being bullied at school, but they take bullying very seriously and address the issue multiple times throughout the school year.
But some parents said the school hasn't done enough to prevent bullying and they are concerned about their children's safety at school.
Jacobsen Middle School has provided grief counselors to students all week, but students said morale is low even for those who didn't know the teen well.