Family wonders if bullying led to teen's death

October 29, 2010 3:26:47 PM PDT
A grieving family is trying to grasp why their son and brother, 17-year-old Jesse Buchsbaum, hanged himself Monday night.

They say his friends have told them the quiet shy teen may have been bullied recently.

The family fears that triggered the suicide.

"I'm sure he has been bullied nonstop," mother Louise said.

Since he was little, Jesse always smiled; he also had a speech impediment and learning disability and that his mother believes made him a target.

"The kids would pick up on that, easily," Louise said.

The family says there was an incident back in junior high.

His sister Samantha said even more recently there was an incident involving kids hanging outside a local McDonalds.

"They were just laughing as he walked by, pointing at him, I don't know what they were saying," Samantha said.

Louise Buchsbaum has cancer, she theorizes Jesse said nothing so not to burden her.

"He didn't want to hurt his mom because he knew his mom was sick, so he never told me anything or my husband," Louise said.

The local police are reportedly investigating allegations of bullying. The high school is also looking at what could have occurred.

The school superintendent says the district thus far has not has not found any evidence of Jesse being bullied at Boyertown High School, but he stressed the words thus far, indicating the investigation continues.

Jesse's dad Charles cautions anyone who is being bullied to speak out.

"I am not saying confront the bully, talk to an adult, don't let this just slide," Charles said.

Jesse's funeral will be Monday.

The family is asking in lieu of flowers people donate to a fund set up at the National Penn Bank in Boyertown to help defray the costs of the funeral.


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