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School may hire firm to review suicide

Board president to raise issue at Thursday meeting

Posted: October 28, 2008 9:43 p.m.
Updated: December 30, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District might hire an outside agency to investigate the suicide of Jeremiah Lasater, a school board official said.

The 14-year-old Vasquez High School freshman shot himself in a school bathroom Oct. 20.

“This is a fact-finding effort,” said Mark Distaso, school board president. “I don’t know if we’re looking for any particular thing.”

Distaso floated the idea of an internal investigation during the Oct. 23 school board meeting. Parents, teachers and community members recounted stories of bullies who tormented Lasater and accused the school district of having a lax bullying policy.

After the public reaction and discussion with staff, Distaso said using an outside investigator is a prudent choice. “It’s preferable to not do it internally because you open yourself up to questions of objectivity,” Distaso said.

The school board will vote on whether approve funding to hire an investigator and how much money it will spend on the investigation at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Meadowlark Elementary School, 3015 Sacramento Ave. in Acton, Distaso said.


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