12-year-old boy takes his own life after being bullied

Friends say Ronin Shimizu was a target of bullying for being a cheerleader.

Some terribly tragic news out of California... In Folsom, family and community members are mourning the death of a 12-year-old boy who took his own life last week because of ongoing bullying and harassment.

Friends, family say Folsom boy was bullied

Seventh grader Ronin Shimizu was found dead in his home Wednesday after he took his own life. According to his parents and friends, he was bullied for years throughout elementary and middle school. The bullying got so bad, he was taken out of school last year and had to be home-schooled.

Friends say Ronin was a target of bullying for being a cheerleader, but his parents say he was bullied for "just being Ronin," by "individuals that could not understand or accept his uniqueness."

Here's the full statement released by Ronin's family:

The tragic loss of our son has and will forever change our life. The love and support that we received from family, friends and the Folsom community has been immeasurable and words cannot begin to express our gratitude through this most difficult grieving process. The people close to our family know exactly who Ronin was, but since the story of this tragedy has spread worldwide, we want to take a minute to let the world know who he was. Ronin was one of the most loving, compassionate, empathetic, artistic and funny kids to grace this earth. Ronin was a child who was not afraid to follow his heart, and we as his parents did everything in our power to allow him to pursue his passions, while protecting him from the minority that could not understand the specialness he possessed. As you already know, Ronin loved to do Cheer, but he also loved art, fashion, being a Scout and most recently crew/rowing. It is true that because of his specialness, Ronin was a target of bullying by individuals that could not understand or accept his uniqueness. Ronin was not just a target of bullying because of his participation in cheer, but for him just being Ronin. We as his parents always knew that he would make an impact on the world, we just thought it would be in something like fashion design or art related. We had no idea that God and Buddha had a more important role for him, and we as his parents will make it our mission in life to turn this tragedy into something positive and hopefully prevent another senseless tragedy. In closing, please remember that education in regards to bullying prevention does not only need to occur in our schools but also in the home.

"Thank you,

"Brandon and Danielle Shimizu"

My deepest condolences to the Shimizu family.

On Saturday at the UCA Northern California Regional Cheer competition at UC Davis, hundreds of competitors held a moment of silence for Ronin Shimizu.

More here: 12-year-old Bullying Victim, Ronin Shimizu, Remembered by Cheer Squads

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please know that you are not alone. There is help. Contact the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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