Friends say teen committed suicide over bullying
FAIRLAND - Friends of a teenager who reportedly committed suicide say he may have been a victim of bullying.
The death of 14-year-old Devon Pritt has stunned classmates at Triton Central High School, where he'd just started his freshman year. Devon's death on Friday at his Fairland home was an apparent suicide. Pritt's friends have suggested his death was prompted by bullying at school. Investigators say they have no evidence to substantiate the claim, but are looking into it.
"Every circumstance, every instance, every complaint, anything. We're trying to work with the school to get more information and then find out what's really true and what may have caused this. We'd like to know and I'm sure his family would, too," said Shelby County Sheriff Michael Bolby.
A family friend told Eyewitness News that if Pritt was being bullied, his father was unaware of it. Parents and teachers have become more aware of what's considered an underreported problem in the nation's schools after the death last September of 15-year-old Billy Lucas. The Greensburg High School student committed suicide, according to classmates, after he was bullied for being different.
The school district has a written policy on bullying that can force the expulsion of students involved in harassing fellow students. That policy that also applies to teachers and staff. The district is also looking into whether this was a case of a student being bullied or something else.
"I know that there's a lot of different information out there that we're trying to sort through and that's where we are at this time," said Superintendent Dr. Ellen Welk.
While it's unclear at this point if this was a tragic case of bullying, experts say that parents need to know the signs.