Community rallies behind bullied boy who attempted suicide



SULTAN, Wash. - A young Snohomish County teen is recovering in a hospital after trying to kill himself.

Friends and relatives said school bullies drove him to it, and some blame Sultan Middle School staff for not acting.

"I was bullied myself in school, and it's horrible," said Seth Diederich, who set up a donation jar for the 13-year-old's family.

Relatives started a public Facebook page, "Zach Attack Anti-Bully Campaign," which claims that Zach was bullied at school before trying to kill himself last week.

Bradley Engle, a ninth-grader, told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Lee Stoll that Zach was verbally abused by other students.

"He's been put down for stuff that's personal for him and it's been tough for him for a while," Engle said.


>>> Here at KIRO 7 Eyewitness News, we want to get a conversation going about the ongoing problem of bullying in our region's schools. Has your child been bullied? How can we, as a community, address this issue? Please share your stories in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Along with posts of love and support for Zach on the Facebook page are postings that blame school staff for not acting. There are even posts calling for the district's high school and middle schools to be shut down.

Sultan Superintendent Dan Chaplik told Stoll that counselors have known Zach for years. Zach even called the school himself after his suicide attempt to say that he would be out for a few days.

"We don't know if there's a specific event that led up to this or a specific student-to-student situation," Chaplik said.

According to Chaplik, there have been several unrelated incidents of bullying at the school this year. Most were verbal. Many were never reported.

Chaplik said that anyone with accusations of bullying needs to speak up, so he can take action.

"I would say if there's a specific incident somebody knows, I want to know about it," he said.

Zach's family said that he was still in Harborview Medical Center on Thursday and was improving.

A vigil is planned for Sunday night. School staff said that they plan to attend the vigil to show their support.