Bullied Los Osos teen commits suicide
April 7, 2014
By KAREN VELIE
A bullied 13-year-old Los Osos girl died Thursday after a suicide bid following years of torment.
On March 29, while her mother was making barbecue and her father was working on his car, Nailani Buchholz wrote her parent’s a note and then hanged herself. For the next five days, the straight “A” Los Osos Middle School student clung to life before passing away just three weeks after turning 13.
Nailani Buchholtz grew up on the Central Coast as part of a close-knit family. And unlike many middle school students, Nailani Buchholtz wrote on Facebook and in her notebooks about what a great family she had.
Nevertheless, since elementary school, some of her classmates had taunted her about her weight and physical appearance. Though her parents were unaware of the middle school bullying, they knew that as early as fourth grade students were calling her derogatory names, said Bill Buchholtz, the teen’s father.
“We knew she was working through some self-esteem issues, she was a chunky little girl,” Bill Buchholtz said.
During fourth grade at Baywood Elementary, Nailani Buchholz asked her parents if she could stay home, to avoid the bullying. Baywood Elementary has a zero tolerance for bullying of any kind. School officials are not responding to questions about Nailani Buchholz noting confidentiality rules.
The next year, in fifth grade, Nailani Buchholz changed her eating habits and lost weight. Even so, some of her fellow students continued to taunt her with names such as ugly and fat. In her journal, Nailani wrote about a boy she had a crush on, how he walked her home from school, and that he called her fat, a family member said.
During the past year, Nailani Buchholz followed several social media posters who spoke of suicide. The teen also posted several videos on Vinebox in which her poor self-image is apparent.
“These people are staring at me, look, look, she’s so ugly,” Nailani Buchholz said in one of the videos.
Officials with the San Luis Coastal Unified School District and Los Osos Middle School said they are not disclosing at this time what actions, if any, they are planning to take regarding the bullying of Nailani Buchholz or if they plan to provide grief counseling for students.