Questions Of Bullying Being Raised In The Suicide Of Portsmouth Teen


The question of bullying is coming up in the death of a Portsmouth teen.

They say 13-year-old Johnathon Short Scaff was teased his whole life.

On Wednesday, he was found dead in his room.

A friend of Johnathon’s tells 10TV that he would get upset about being bullied but not talk about it. His mother says she contacted the school but the issue wasn’t taken seriously.

“He was 13 years old and only weighed like 89 pounds. He was a tiny little thing,” said Trisha Scaff.

They say he was picked on.

“He just got tortured a lot. It just tore me up too cause I hate seeing him get put through that,” said Jordan Fyffe.

Fyffe was Johnathon’s friend since the second grade. He says his friend loved sports but was taunted for his size and not being able to keep up with his teammates.

He points to what he witnessed on Tuesday.

“I heard kids say ‘Go kill yourself,” said Jordan. “I looked at Johnathan and I asked ‘Did they just tell you to go kill yourself?’  He said ‘No’ and he started crying.”

Jordan says it went a further as he waited for Johnathan after practice.

“He came back up with a bunch of bruises and a cut beneath his eye. He started crying and I asked him, ‘Are you alright?  He said ‘'I’ll be fine.’

An hour after Johnathon’s mom got home from work Wednesday, he was discovered in his room. He had hanged himself in a closet. His mother is convinced that bullying got to him.

“He got suspended for hitting a boy. He said he was tired of them making fun of him,” said Trisha.

A Facebook post by Jordan got response from another alleged bully victim who wrote,” I know one of the kids cuz he told me to go kill myself.”

The school district refused to comment. The Scioto County Sheriff says it is conducting an investigation on the death. Jordan and Johnathan’s sister have been questioned.

“I'm not saying he was the perfect kid at all but he didn't deserve this,” said Trisha. “Bottom line is, this bullying has got to stop, and these schools have got to take it more serious.”

Johnathon’s exact cause of death has not been determined. An autopsy has been done but results have not come back.


LINK: Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation