Jeremiah Lasater suicide sparks bullying lawsuit

By Brian Charles
Signal Staff Writer
SANTA CLARITA VALLEY, Calif. — The report from the investigation into Jeremiah Lasater’s suicide at Vasquez High School last year will remain confidential pending a lawsuit filed by the Lasater family against the Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District, a school district official said.

“We’re not able to talk about it because of the lawsuit,” said Mark Distaso, school district board member, when asked about the status of the report.

Jeremiah Lasater killed himself in a Vasquez High School bathroom on Oct. 20, 2008. On the eve of the anniversary, school district officials stressed that the school and the community want to move forward from what they called a “painful day.”

“People want to look forward and move ahead,” Distaso said. “That’s not to suggest that people don’t remember what happened here last year.”

There is no memorial planned by the district or by Vasquez High School, he said.

Lasater was a 14-year-old special education student at Vasquez High. Some in the community say he was picked on daily by other students.

The suicide exposed a deep division among Acton residents, with some claiming the problem was being “whitewashed” by the board and being “swept under the rug.”

During an emotional special meeting of the school board just days after the suicide, staff members accused high-ranking members of the school of ignoring the constant bullying received by Lasater and other special-needs students. Full story.

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