Student Said Bullied Into Suicide
Sep. 01, 1999
FREEBURG, Ill. (AP) _ A heartbroken father says high school students bullied his 14-year-old son ``for four days straight'' before the boy shot himself to death in this small southern Illinois town.
High school administrators were interviewing Andrew Rudy's classmates Wednesday to determine who may have been involved in the harassment. Police said they've found evidence of verbal harassment, but no criminal acts.
``If we find that there was any criminal act committed, than we are certainly going to go for charges,'' said Chief of Police Steve Flater.
Rudy was four days into his freshman year when he killed himself with a shotgun Aug. 26 in the basement of his parents' home.
Rudy's father said his son's tormentors had forced him into a locker and demanded he utter demeaning remarks. But school officials said no one witnessed such an incident.
``He was always a happy son, always friendly to people,'' Earl Rudy said. ``He tried to be friendly to kids that didn't have any friends.''
School officials said they are focusing on a small number of students, including one upperclassman football player.
``I lost such a good son. I don't want anyone else to go through what we're going through,'' Earl Rudy said.