Family, friends of Reagan student say he was bullied for clothes, ethnicity before death
North East Independent School District denies knowledge of claims, says it’s investigating
SAN ANTONIO – Shaelynn Humphries is part of a small group of Reagan High School students who are taking a stand after they feel a suicide on campus was swept under the rug by the school principal during a speech over the intercom.
“She didn’t address any of the issues. She didn’t address the concern for suicide awareness,” Shaelynn said.
On Monday, Alonso Jones, 16, was found unconscious in the school’s weight room. The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death a suicide.
Juma Yacoub said Alonso was someone he considered a friend.
“We had the same lunch period together. So, every time I would see him at lunch, I would sit with him and we would have our lunch together,” Juma said.
Juma said Alonso was the constant target of bullying, picked on for the clothes he wore and his race.
“They would call him, like, really bad words, like the 'n' word,” Juma said. He said they tried to get help from school officials.
“One time we went to the office together. We filed a report on some bullies,” Juma said.
When asked about the alleged reports of bullying, North East ISD spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said in a statement, “We continue to investigate, but at this point we have absolutely no indication that Alonso was having issues with any other students. There are no reports to administrators. When a report is filed regarding bullying, we investigate everyone. In this case though, there haven’t been any.”
Students on Friday remembered Alonso by wearing a red ribbon around their wrists in his honor. As they grieve his untimely death, they’re focusing on his bright spirit and the dreams they said he never got to realize.
“One time I asked him, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?’ And he told me, ‘It doesn’t matter.’ He just wants to have a job that will make everybody around him happy and make everybody proud,” Juma said.
Alonso’s sister, Alyssa Jones, said their mother works as a biology teacher at the school.
Alyssa was too heartbroken to do an on camera interview but thanked KSAT12 for shedding light on what she and others have said was an ongoing issue of racial bullying at the school.
Late Friday afternoon, NEISD Superintendent Sean Maika issued a letter to parents district-wide, addressing the death and “misinformation (that) is hampering our efforts.”
Anyone considering suicide is urged to call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
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