Cudahy parents claim school not doing enough to battle bullying, stop suicides

CREATED Dec 11, 2012

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CUDAHY - One week ago a student from Cudahy High School took her own life. She was the third suicide in Cudahy in 18 months. “I’ll never see my daughter again,” said Vanessa Olszewski.

She believes her 15-year old daughter, Alida Guerrero, would still be alive if she had not been bullied at Cudahy High School.

The school says it wasn’t aware of any bullying problem at school, but Alida’s mother says they talked to the school multiple times about the problem.

“That is a lie and it shocks me and disappoints me,” said Olszewski.

On Saturday Alida’s family and others protested in front of the school hoping for more accountability.

Benson: "Do you think the school has a suicide problem?"

Olszewski: "Oh definitely."

TODAY'S TMJ4 wanted to get some answers from the school board and superintendent, but no one at Monday’s meeting would talk to us on camera. The School Superintendent did respond by email.

Superintendent Jim Heiden writes: "Teachers have been trained in the Signs of Suicide. They also teach the A-C-T strategy - Acknowledge, Care and Tell is designed to help students come forward with concerns and tell an adult.  Counseling info and the Suicide Hot line number are posted in school."

But the mother of one of Alida’s friends’ worries it’s not enough to stop the suicide tragedies.

"I hope there won’t be a fourth one,” said Kenyetta Davenport.

Superintendent Heiden says the school is reflecting on what it can do better and will be meeting with health experts in the coming weeks to see what else can be done to end these tragedies.