A Long Island mother says she never realized how bad her son was bullied by kids at school until it was too late.
Angie Collazo said her 17-year-old son Angelo, who suffers from scoliosis, took his own life last week and she blames vicious bullying throughout his life as the reason for his death.
“He was bullied so bad that he felt his only option was to end his own life,” Collazo said. “Children used to punch him, kick him. They tortured him. That's exactly what these children did. They tortured him.”
Collazo said the bullying began when Angelo was 10 years old, right around the time he started wearing a brace for his scoliosis. The teasing followed Angelo all the way to Hicksville High School, where Collazo said she made multiple complaints to school officials to stop the relentless bullying.
She claims the school didn’t do enough to stop Angelo from being bullied and says she spoke to his guidance counselor about it just three days before his death.
“I absolutely blame the school,” Collazo said. “They should have done more prior to this. My son did not deserve this at all.”
Hicksville Schools didn’t confirm any bullying.
“We extended our sincere condolences to the individual’s family and friends,” the school said in a statement to NBC 4 New York. “Our Crisis Intervention Team has been activated and support services will be available as needed."
After Angelo’s death, Collazo says she found a journal documenting all he endured. She said Angelo went to counseling before his death, but it wasn’t enough to help to save his life. She is now urging parents to sit down with their children and talk to them about the impacts bullying can have.
“He ended his life because of the pain that he was in and he just wanted it to end,” she said. “He wanted them to stop.”