Student’s suicide and allegations of bullying roil Paso Robles school district

February 29, 2016


One child is dead and another has been pulled from a Paso Robles middle school amid allegations of bullying, harassment and physical assaults by students. Parents have taken to Facebook to discuss what some call a culture of bullying.

“Lewis Middle School really needs to address their issues on bullying…and maybe think about the victims instead of the bullies and their confidentiality,” Ann Barton posted on Facebook. “I have personally dealt with that garbage and I know another mother who got a restraining order against a student that was bullying and what did the district do? Send the bully to Flamson!”

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District officials responded Thursday by addressing parents at Daniel E. Lewis Middle School. Next week, district officials will speak with concerned parents at George H. Flamson Middle School to discuss programs already in place to address campus bullying.

Nevertheless, some parents claim district staff has failed to properly respond to allegations of bullying.

Until last month, Monica Gusimat’s 11-year-old daughter attended George H. Flamson Middle School. However, after months of cyber bullying and a physical assault, Gusimat took her child out of public school and began homeschooling her, Gusimat said.

Back in September, Gusimat first informed school staff that one student had punched her child in the head and several students were harassing her. The head of student security services, Henry Jenkins, thought her daughter was overreacting, Guzimat said.

“First, he said she was exaggerating and then he told me the other kid had not hit my daughter that hard,” Guzimat said. “My daughter would walk down the hall and kids would say here comes the fat girl run. Teachers would see it and not say anything.”

Other students would tell Guzimat’s daughter she was stupid, no one liked her and she should just kill herself, Guzimat said.

After the 11-year-old left the school in the middle of February, one sixth grade student continued to send her text messages asking her to commit suicide.

“Okay bitch, go kill yourself and leave other people alone,” the student wrote. “ Whatever bitch I’m just saying, I will be the happiest girl ever if you killed yourself.”

Since then, Jenkins is on a leave of absence and one student was suspended for several days, Guzimat said. School officials confirmed Jenkins was on leave, but were unsure if he would be returning to the district.

On Feb. 3, a 12-year-old student of Lewis Middle School took her own life. Shortly afterwards, her mother posted allegations of bullying on Facebook.

“My daughter was bullied to death,” the mother wrote on Facebook. “I am in grief, not just for me but for her as well. She carried this all on her own ,telling two friends only, but never disclosing the name of who was bullying her. My little girl was so brave and courageous, but I think she was too afraid to share the name of who it was.”

Both the district and the Paso Robles Police Department opened investigations into the allegations that  the child was bullied before her death.

The district investigation determined the allegations of bullying were rumors, said Martha Clayton, the district’s pubic relations officer. “The police are still investigating.”

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Sadly I’ve seen this firsthand since I volunteer regularly at my kid’s school. 90% of the kids are fine but the 10% of troubled/disobedient/punk kids suck the resources and time from teachers & staff. It seems like the bullies get the attention and the victims just get pushed aside. Some of the kids ARE AFRAID! They don’t want to be a “rat” or a “snitch” so they just try to deal with the jacka$$ bully kids.

Parents: GET INVOLVED. Know your kid’s teacher(s). VISIT your kid’s school. MEET your kid’s friends and don’t let them go to a friend’s house unless you’ve met the parents. Keep a paper trail. E-MAIL the principal (not the security officer, the secretary, etc.) And if you do not get anywhere, go to the top and contact the superintendent at the district office.

And if all else fails, go public like these families in the article did. Schools start paying attention when parents and students speak up.

Sincere condolences to the friends and family of the poor girl who took her own life.


Good advice, but the only way to make the bullies stop is to make police reports.

Jon Tatro

Old Ned, that large check the City had to write me sure felt like a win all the way to the bank.


yes, we all know about your 100+% pension you receive, no need to rub it in our faces.


I had a PE teacher that dealt with this in a very effective way. He would put the two students (boys or girls) in a boxing ring and put on these ridiculously over sized boxing gloves on the students and let them go at it. There was no way to inflict injury to one another because of the size of the gloves. Eventually laughter would ensue and everyone (the bully and the bullied) would leave as friends. It worked! Blaming the school is silly. Our children will never grow up emotionally if they are not directed to solve their own problems. It’s a big nasty scary world, if a bully sends you to a point in life where you are willing to take your own life your chances aren’t all that strong in the first place.

Jorge Estrada

Just read the news for adult bullying or watch a so called political debate. This is how we teach our children to grow up to be successful bullies. We certainly do not emulate a social utopia as adults. Sadly mean spirited practices can be very difficult on the young growing minds. So goes life and this county is the better than elsewhere.


The Alinsky tactics employed by socialist/democrats & RINOS to win at any price have made it necessary to fight back.

What to do? Fight back or just give in to something abhorrent?

Look at what happened at Cal State LA recently just because a different point of view was being presented to the studens. The president of that “university” should be charged and fired for inciting aggressive and intolerant behavior.


I have a 9 year old son that attends Glenn-Speck Elementary school, and he has been bullied by the same 2 children for the last 3 years. One child is PRSD “royalty” who has family that have been teachers/coaches at the high school. The other is an hispanic child, that is half my son’s size. Routine discipline of these children for randomly assaulting other children in the classroom, all the way to having every desk in the classroom bolted to the floor, has been that these children are “sent to the office” where they are allowed to sit and color. Granted, it is an SDC class, but at the same time, why are emotionally disturbed violent children put into classes with students with autism, down syndrome, and other disabilities? My son even came home one day, with a 3 inch scratch across his chest, it was still red and raised hours after it had happened, when talking to the principal we were told we could move him to another school.

We had a severe issue this year, and the school is so good at “student confidentiality” that they sat my son, the 2 other students and one of the parents down for a “chat” to find out what was going on. Needless to say, the parents of one child decided to come into my work to make a scene and talk loudly about “these absurd allegations of bullying against their sweet baby boy.” This is after 3 kids in special education determined that my son was at fault for being assaulted in numerous instances and the other children resort to lashing out physically because certain students “aggravate” them for being in the same area of the playground. So my son is at fault for being a child, who was inadequately supervised, since he agreed with 2 kids that he’s scared of that he’s at fault.

My other interaction with the Paso Robles School District and their “zero tolerance” approach to bullying, is my 10 year old nephew that attends a different school. He is actually having to move to another school because of the bullying and the refusal of the school to enforce their on policies. It got so bad that the police have needed to get involved because a student was telling him he should kill himself and the world would be better off without him.

Something really needs to be done at our schools in Paso Robles, before there is another tragedy. Since I refused to transfer my son, some of the other parents transferred their children to escape physically aggressive children. I keep my son there because they seem to have managed to get things under control, and they have one of the best programs for autism in Paso Robles.


How horrible for you and your son. I think I would have called the police on the parents that came to your place of work! omg. It sounds like the bullying is out of control and that not only do all of the teachers and administrators need to take courses on how to CONFRONT the behavior, but also the individual schools need to have assemblies with the entire student body and discuss why it’s not ok. As in weekly assemblies addressing this situation. Come on schools – get it together – if your students are coming forward and talking to adults they trust and you aren’t actively doing anything about the behavior – that is terrible. The idea that “kids will be kids” while you look the other way is just wrong.


Sounds like its time for the teachers to demand a raise for being such hard working people…cough cough


That’s terrible. Those emotionally disturbed kids need their own class. !!!! Horrible.


This is a tragic tale, of course; however, it is a very complicated formula involving school system, parenting, internet access, and a litigious society. There does not seem to be one easy fix.

Kids are mean, they always have been. The only thing that has really changed is how adults deal with it and the simpler methods by which kids can be mean (i.e. texting, social media, etc).

Why are kids mean? My guess is, because adults are mean and they learn from that. If not from the adults in their lives, then they will learn it from the other kids in their lives… if not the one around them, then the ones they “meet” online. Anonymity, as evidenced by any number of discussions on this very site, provides a mean by which people feel free to denigrate and destroy anyone they don’t like or have a difference of opinion with.

Our kids reflect us, and unfortunately, we only exacerbate this by living vicariously through them, warts and all.

still laughing


Just because your kids graduated from college and are productive citizens doesn’t mean they are not bullies. That behavior is passed from generation to generation. What about a child who is outweighed by a bully sixty pounds heavier and a foot taller? The school system should not tolerate this kind of behavior. I guess bringing a gun to school to settle a score would be okay with you too? By the way, Donald Trump graduated from college and most people consider him a bully so your argument is invalid.


Poor logic. “Most” people do not consider Mr. Trump a bully. Better watch the news. He’s winning every state today. You are obviously Wrong.

You are mistaking Not Being Politically Correct with being a Bully.

Jon Tatro

Indigo1955 you write I should be monitored on a community watch list because I wrote a post. What Nazi background are you from. Since you asked, I raised two great kids who both graduated college and are productive citizens. My kids were both bullied to differing extents and I taught them to handle it themselves because mom and dad will not always be there to protect them from mean people. Neither of my kid has ever been in a fight because they chose to ignore the bullies. I understand people don’t like my advice but as a retired Police Officer I can tell you l’ve dealt with a lot of bullies. The Govt., schools, cops etc cannot stop bullying only the parents teaching their kids.


Amen, the parents expect everyone else to teach their kids so they can take the credit or place the blame on how their kids turn out.


If I had to guess? Democrat / Obama voter. Then again, the NAZI party was the extreme left in Germany in the early 20th century.

“We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” –Adolf Hitler, May 1, 1927.


Good that you pointed out the National Socialist communist Big Gubmint ideology.

Upvote for your words and downvote for The Monster’s.

Jon Tatro

Smells dirty, the City was the “bully” in my lawsuit forcing officers to write the citizens bogus tickets to gain revenue. I followed my own advice and punched the City in the nose by winning my case. As for your calling me ” small, hideous, angry and old” because my opinion on this differs from yours makes you a “cyber bully” by definition. I’m willing to put my real name on my posts but you hide behind your anonymous monicker to take cowardly shots.


I hope you did not raise children. Your mentality is the perfect example of a bully. I wish they still had community watch-lists. You are someone who needs to be monitored.


You didn’t “win” your case. You settled it.


Former (thank GOD!) city manager Jim App never fought cases. He always settled them out of court. Some cases SHOULD have been fought–especially the ones involving the greedy Smiley woman who sued re. ADA ramp compliances.

But re. Tatro’s case–not sure how much Tatro got from the taxpayers but what the Paso PD was doing was illegal and if I were Tatro, I probably would’ve sued the city, too.


Very admirable, Mr. Tatro.

It takes courage and stamina to point out corruption. And time and willingness to put up with the hassle in order to do the right thing.. We should be doing this on a daily basis from the schools on up to obaMAO.

Glad you won.