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Fort Myers mother says son attempted suicide in class

Posted at 6:50 PM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 10:36:53-04

The mother of a Fort Myers Middle Academy student told Fox 4 that her son was hospitalized after collapsing in class last week - but didn't know it was due to an attempt on his own life until days later.

"I'm on my way to the hospital (thinking) what is going on, how can I help my kid," said Vanessa, whose name we are not using in order to protect her son's identity.

Doctors puzzled over what could have caused her son to collapse for three days of hospital tests.

Vanessa said the mother of one her son's friends finally called her, after the friend said Vanessa's son had tried to suffocate himself by tying his hoodie tightly after a classmate bullied him. So she asked her son about it.

"He did say that's what happened, that he did pull his hoodie over his head...that he did have a student that was tormenting him," Vanessa said.

She said her son is a sensitive boy who was afraid to speak up, but she wishes the school had investigated the situation a bit more.

"At least letting staff and everybody at the hospital know that he tried to suffocate himself," Vanessa said.

A Lee County Schools spokeswoman said federal law prevents her from confirming whether or not a student has been hospitalized, but said no staff at the school had been disciplined in any way.

While Vanessa said she had a positive discussion with the principal at Fort Myers Middle Academy on Monday, she has taken her son out of the school. She hopes the school district develops better protocol for dealing with bullying in class.

"To make sure that this never happens again," she said.