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Family: School bullying prompted San Bernardino girl, 13, to attempt suicide

By in Press Enterprise on January 12, 2018

By Beatriz E. Valenzuela

A little more than a month after images flooded social media of a smiling Rosalie “Rosie” Avila with a neon heart fluttering around her head — forever linking her to the issue of schoolyard bullying — another Inland Empire 13-year-old girl attempted to end her life because of what her family is calling extreme bullying.

“I don’t know why they’re targeting my sister,” said Carolina Zarate on Thursday in a phone interview.

  • Related: Youths encouraged to report bullying to parents, teachers, police or someone they trust

The identity of the Arrowview Middle School seventh-grader is not being released for her protection.

In the latest incident against the girl, Zarate and her mother, Sandra Ortega, of San Bernardino, said several girls went to Ortega’s home Tuesday night trying to lure the girl outside for a fight. As Ortega told the girls to leave, the frightened girl ran into the family bathroom, the San Bernardino mother said.

“I think she had a panic attack,” Ortega said Thursday from her daughter’s hospital room at Riverside County Regional Medical Center’s pediatric unit. “Then she went in and took the pills. They were my pills.”

Unaware of what her daughter had done, Ortega didn’t take the girl to the hospital until the teen began vomiting several hours later, Zarate and Ortega said.

After receiving initial treatment at St. Bernardino Medical Center in San Bernardino, she was transferred to the regional medical center in Moreno Valley. As of Friday morning, the teen had been released from the hospital.

“I’m thankful I still have my daughter here with me but now I want to know what the school is going to do,” Ortega said.

San Bernardino City Unified School District officials confirmed they were investigating a report of bullying that stemmed from an off-campus altercation between students, but said due to education codes, they […]    

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