Vigil held for Schalmont student whose suicide remains under - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Vigil held for Schalmont student whose suicide remains under investigation


SCHALMONT, N.Y. - A candlelight vigil was held at the Pattersonville Fire Department Friday at 6 p.m. in honor of a 14-year-old Jack Zebrowski, a freshman student who police say took his own life on Saturday, October 19th.

Lt. Mike Brown with Rotterdam Police says they are still interviewing people to see if bullying played a role in the death, but there is no evidence that a crime was committed. However, they say that does not mean bullying didn't happen.

Police say even if it's found that bullying did happen, it would be considered 'inappropriate behavior' and not something that a juvenile could be charged with.

Schalmont school officials also say resource officers are re-interviewing students to find out what, if anything, happened during the week leading up to his death. Specifically, they are investigating whether bullying played a role in the boy's death.

School officials also say they will implement a systematic anti-bullying program on campus with the New York State Office of Mental Health, in addition to some initiatives already in place.

Earlier this week, Superintendent Dr. Carol Pallas sent a letter to parents and community members stating that, so far, the Rotterdam Police Department has not found any evidence directly linking the suicide to bullying, and no such accusations were brought to the district's attention.

Robin and Don Zebrowksi want to keep their 14-year-old son's memory alive through giving him a voice again and sending out a strong message to stop bullying and speak up.

"Jack should be here right now he should be here," said Robin.

Jack, a freshmen at Schalmont High School, ended his own life on October 19th, and his family believes he was bullied at school.

"Typical bullying being pushed in the hallway, milk spilled on him during lunchtime," said Don.

But it was only after his death both Robin and Don found out about the bullying.

"I was horrified didn't see it, didn't know," said Jacquie Gleckman, Jack's grandmother.

And Jack never said anything about it to his mom and dad, who he had a close relationship with.

"Bullying should not be an option people who are left behind are left with no answers," said Gleckman.

"If someone is smaller than you, it doesn't give them the right to push them around. And if you see someone being picked on makes a big deal about it," said Don.

It's a message that resonated throughout the night as Jack was remembered.

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