Questions emerge after suicide of bullied teen

Posted at 6:40 PM, Nov 27, 2017

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Heartbroken family members remembering a local teen who complained of being bullied before taking his own life.

"He had such a big heart.  He was always joking and laughing ... We are heartbroken," said Katrina Guzman, 14-year-old German Aramburo-Guzman's aunt.

Guzman says German attended 9th grade at a downtown charter school - King Chavez Community High School - and told his family about being bullied soon after school started in August.

"It was verbally, through Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and an anonymous messaging app. He was taunted over homophobic slurs. Kids would make fun of him, the way he looked, the way acted," said Guzman.     

According to Guzman, German, who was not gay, never revealed who was doing the bullying for fear of making it worse.  When it turned from bad to worse, his mother went to the school on November 9th.     

Guzman says a counselor told his mother he'd be paired with a counselor. "At the time she left with no answer on how they were going to address the bullying," said Guzman.     

A week later, Guzman says a counselor contacted his mother after school to have a meeting the next day about an incident but gave few details.             

Hours later, German would take his life. Guzman says her family has since learned German tried to harm himself at school.     

She says the family should have been told about the details. She also believes the school should have been more aggressive tackling the bullying complaint.

"Schools need better protocols to stop this. Innocent lives are being lost because kids feel like there is no hope for them," said Guzman.

A spokesperson for the school issued the following statement:

"This has been a painful event for the whole King-Chavez neighborhood of schools and more specifically for our King-Chavez Community High School and the larger community which we serve. Although the details are obviously private and confidential information at the King-Chavez Community High School, multiple interventions and communications have been and continue to be made since we received information regarding the student. This included intervention by administration, mental health staff three times a week, and assistance from the San Diego Police PERT organization. We are concerned about cyber-bullying and the anonymous social network apps which protect the identity of the users. In this age of advancing social media technology, we continue to refine our policy and education for staff and students regarding cyber use and bullying."

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help with funeral expenses.