GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4)– Students at Cherry Creek High School are planning a walkout Friday morning to raise awareness about suicide prevention and bullying. The demonstration comes after Jack Padilla, a 15-year-old student, took his own life in February.
Jack’s family says the teen was a victim of bullying and even received messages encouraging him to take his own life.
“We just didn’t know what to do and we were just standing there looking at each other,” said Nick Corsi, a close friend of Padilla.
After Jack’s passing, his family started an Instagram page and GoFundMe Campaign called #JackStrong. The GoFundMe campaign has already raised more than $40,000. Padilla’s family plans to use that to raise awareness about suicide prevention.
“I just really want kids to understand that there is another way. If we all get together we can work together and find that other path,” Corsi told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.
The walkout is scheduled for Friday morning at 10:17 because Jack’s lacrosse jersey was #17. The walkout will end with an assembly that students organized to spread awareness about suicide and to promote a theme of unity and resilience among students.
CBS4 reached out to the Cherry Creek School District regarding the walkout and incident regarding Jack Padilla.
Spokesperson Abbe Smith released a statement that read in part: “All questions about the investigation into possible allegations of bullying related to Jack Padilla’s death should be directed to the Greenwood Village Police Department. We have turned over all information that we are aware of to GVPD. We do not believe we have all of the information that has been provided to police. We await the outcome of their investigation. Superintendent Scott Siegfried continues to be in close communication with Police Chief Dustin Varney throughout the process.
I can confirm that no student reported alleged inappropriate behavior or bullying until after the student’s death.
The district continues to be intensely focused on supporting the students and families at Cherry Creek High School during this difficult time and we continue to offer extended support through our internal and external mental health resources.”
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Your call is confidential and free.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.