Drew Ferraro's parents announced that after reading their son's journal, bullying could be a factor in his suicide, according to KCBS-TV.
Now, they are advocating for anti-bullying in local schools and creating a foundation in Drew's name.
Glendale Unified School District Superintendent Richard Sheehan has said that bullying was not a factor in Ferraro's suicide. Crescenta Valley High School Principal Michele Doll, however, has been understanding of the bullying issue, the parents told KCBS-TV.
Sheriff's Department investigators have said that the four suicide notes Ferraro left did not mention bullying, Sheriff's Lt. John Corina told Patch.
"It was hard. I was in disbelief. Surreal, because he left that morning, and he was happy," Deana Ferraro told KCBS-TV.
"The fact that he did do it at school, to me, was a huge statement," Deana said.
His parents found from reading his journal that for nine months he was bullied at school--not just by other boys--but a group of girls, KCBS reported.
"There [was] a lot of name calling," Deana said. "There was pushing down the hall."
"They just didn't like the way he looked. They just found anything to pick on," Deana said. "From reading his journal now, it was just tormenting him."
"There are other parents who have kids who go to this school who are being bullied," John Ferraro said.
To ensure this doesn't happen again, the Ferraros are starting an anti-bullying foundation and will have a fundraising event called Drew's Voice, Our Voice at noon on March 4 at Leo's All Star Sports Bar. The Ferraro family and community members will host a weenie roast, car show and Battle of the Bands event.
The Ferraros want other local families and kids to prevent teen suicide and bullying.
"If somebody looks upset, hand them a tissue, pat them on the back--it makes a difference," Deana said. "Teenagers, children, don't realize the impact of their words. Words scar and they hurt."
Drew had four letters on him the day he killed himself. His mother said the most powerful was to her, where he said he was finally happy.
“Had he told me what was going on, I would have taken him out of school,” Deana said.