Bullied Los Osos teen commits suicide

April 7, 2014
Nailani Buchholz

Nailani Buchholz


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.

Nailani Buchholz

Nailani Buchholz

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.


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I work in the mental health profession in this county and am often in contact with teenagers who are depressed, stressed, and in emotional pain. Many resort to self harm and or use of alcohol or drugs to self medicate their pain away. There are no easy answers to this difficult situation, but we should never be insensitive to the complex and difficult emotions that many teenagers experience. Most teenagers think that the adults in their lives “do not understand them”, and the sad truth is that we as adults truly can’t understand the complex world that today’s teenagers live in. We can dismiss their everyday experience with ” when I was a kid” we use to …… But we truly cannot understand how it feels to be 13 and have your best friend “unfriend” you on Facebook. Or have a text go out to everyone you know at the same time saying something derogatory about you. We simply did not live as teenagers in their world as it is now. The teens are such a difficult time anyway, with issues of self esteem, hormones running rampant, and the complexities that technology has added is very real. If you have any teenagers in your life, take time to really talk to them. Empathy and compassion goes a long way and sometimes all someone needs is to know there is someone in their life that really cares and will not dismiss their pain.

I’ve read many articles here on CCN and I have to say, I have noticed an unusual number of thumbs down on comments for an article of this nature. As if there is an organized campaign to dis KV. Now that couldn’t possibly be, could it? Not with a bit of uncomfortable reflection and a nutty supervisor at large. Okay…ready…GO… thumb it doooown.

God’s speed Nailani. You may have opened some eyes.

It is hear breaking to see another young life cut short.

Please help teens experiencing depression ask for help.

We are trying to raise money to make a “panic button” app for young people who may not know how to get help:


I don’t have a major issue with ccn reporting on the suicide and that it may or may not have been a result of bullying. I do have an issue with ccn posting a barely 13 year olds picture and name. Keep her out of it, she was a minor…had it been any other crime, no name would have been mentioned. Keep reporting all aspects of the story and follow up with the bullying issue, but keep the kids names and photos out of it.

I don’t necessarily disagree with you however this isn’t the same thing as a child that committed a crime and needs another chance to redeem themselves. Generally, a minors name isn’t mentioned so that they can reflect on their poor judgement, correct the problems they encounter and move forward. Unfortunately and as heartbreaking as it is, Nailani will not have that opportunity.

I don’t know why CCN printed her photo however I for one have to think that perhaps it’s about getting the message out there that your child doesn’t have to be awkward looking or obese or have any defect in appearance what so ever to suffer from a lack of self esteem or believe that they don’t measure up. I don’t know about anyone else but I didn’t expect to see such a beautiful young girl. Whatever went wrong (and I suspect it was a t school and with her peers) needs to be examined and parents need to be aware that young teens can be highly vulnerable, even the cute, smart ones. I’m certain this family never thought this could happen to them, lets make certain that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

My heartfelt condolences, my prayers are with this family.

I think you’re right Cindy. I think Karen wanted people to see what bullying can do to a kid, even a bright beautiful girl like Nailani.

Lets keep in mind that Karen of all people would have a deep empathy for the loss of a child. She lost her own young daughter 6 months ago and sat vigil by her daughters side for a week hoping beyond hope. Granted, Karen lost her child to an accident but no parent should ever have to bury their child, especially under these circumstances.

If one child can be saved and one family can avoid this grief, it’s worth the discussion of what went wrong and since there is no indication of mental illness or anything obvious it’s a concern to all us parents. We know Nailani loved her family and was close to them so it had to be something at school and with her peers.

Once again the Tribune tries to kill the messenger by suggesting their competition has gotten it all wrong.

Instead of using this terrible tragedy as a platform to address the problem on a community level, the powers to be try to sweep things under the carpet. Things like bullying can’t possibly happen in the happiest place in America right?

The Tribune points to the Sheriff as their proof that no bullying was involved. Is it possible that the Sheriff simply wanted to deny the possibility of bullying to minimize the potential of a legal action against the school district?

We the community have the right to know the facts so that we might be able to make corrections in our educational institutions, if needed.

In my opinion, if brickbats are deserved, then the Tribune reporter (Cornejo), the Sheriff and Adam Hill’s minion (Ochs) should get a wheel barrel load.

Thanks to Cal Coast News for again keeping us informed.

And to Nailani’s family I offer my prayers and hopes that you will engage the community in hopes that we can all learn from your beautiful daughters struggle and find ways to help alleviate bullying in our schools and social media.

My, my, my. Ian Parkinsom has become quite powerful, hasn’t he? He is able to change reality by simply making a self-serving comment.

He can get a victimized reporter banned from a local radio station simply by asking.

He can further victimize a young teen girl who committed suicide after YEARS of bullying.

My heart aches for the young victim and her family, especially now that Ian Parkinson has decided to further abuse the power he has as sheriff by denying she was bullied.

The editors of the tribune should be so ashamed of themselves. They joined in the bullying of young 13-year-old victim Nailani Buchholz by not correctly stating the reason for her suicide.

So we see how powerful (and evil) sheriff Parkinson is…he can influence the main printed news publication in our county to join the bullies who tormented Nailani literally to death.

“The teachers and staff at my daughter’s school have been very supportive,” said her father, Bill Buchholtz, in a statement. “Our family does not question nor do we feel that the protection of our kids is not being met.”

Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/04/08/3012297/girls-suicide-prompts-community.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1#storylink=cpy

I agree 100%. Looks like we’ve got trolls from high places giving you the thumbs down to try and sweep this further under the rug. Losers! No one with an once of credibility can conclude after less than a week of investigation that bullying was not a factor. How blatant of the sheriffs office to allow themselves to be used like this. Stinks to high heaven.

I have a child in High School now that was being bullied at LAMS. I witnessed it! It carried over into High School and that’s when I decided to do something about it. I went to the principal and parents to resolve the situation. Before that, they were oblivious to there being a problem. It was really bringing my child down. Thankfully Okay now. My heart aches over this little girl. But I’m beside myself with the power plays. Disgusting.

I read the article in the Tribune. Then I returned to read this article again. The father and other family members contributed to this article so why the criticisms? I also have to ask myself if I’ve ever heard of a healthy teenager with good grades taking their life because they’re confused about puberty? Self esteem issues are born out of criticism from others and this is something that should be discussed in an effort to protect all teens.

The father is QUOTED in the article. He didn’t have to speak to the reporter if he did not want to, people. Even if he had a change of heart, that still does not change the facts.

Bullying is a community issue. We must discuss it in order to attempt to put an end to it. And, yes, it will be a painful discussion. What happened is a tragedy and we shouldn’t lose one more child this way.

Since it has been made public by the parents that bullying was not involved, I wonder how many other things published here are posted BEFORE getting all the facts?