Over 7,000 Valentine's Day Cards Show Support to Crescenta Valley Students After Classmate's Shocking Suicide
In the wake of the suicide of sophomore Drew Ferraro, hundreds of La Crescenta residents, parents, friends, alumni, and total strangers submitted Valentine's Day cards to show their care and support for the students and faculty of Crescenta Valley High School.
The event, called "Have a Heart: Contagious LOVE for Crescenta Valley High School" and organized primarily on Facebook, was created by Cynthia Livingston, the principal at nearby Rosemont Middle School, the CVHS feeder school. Helped by alumni, the goal was to get 3,200 cards saying "I Care" and indicating the sender's name, age, and where they live.
By early this morning, organizers had received over 7,000 cards to share with current CVHS Falcons (the school mascot). The cards were delivered to the school when it reopened for the first time this morning since Friday's tragedy and following an already-scheduled Monday school holiday.
The message of caring was noticed, and appreciated. Heather Pinchbeck, a CV alumn and parent of a CV 9th grader, Kristen, said she and her three daughters made over 125 cards, which they delivered to the drop-off spot Monday night. Pinchbeck says her daughter was moved by the everyone coming together to give up their time and energy to take on this project, and that she was "really touched and felt a huge sense of pride and fellowship from our community," adding that her "she felt that it didn't matter how many people made just that they cared enough to do something."
Like so many CV students did, Kristen wore black to school today to show solidarity and mourn her school-mate, Drew. She also received an "I care" card on her locker, reminding her she was loved.
The students have also put up a tribute wall to Drew, and are seeing many people add to it and other memorials on the campus.
While many parents and students have come forward to say Drew was bullied, and bullying is a problem at schools in the Glendale Unified School District, investigators and district reps have staunchly denied that was--or is--the case.
But just a couple of weeks ago, CV's drama department put on a play called "22% Fear," based on real-life bullying experiences from students at CVHS. The play was written by the school's drama department head, Brent Beerman, based on a recent survey indicating that 22 percent of the students had felt fearful of bullies.
"In discussions after [the performance], Beerman mentioned that bullying throughout public school starts with teasing in elementary, becomes more pronounced in middle school and is full blown by high school," notes Montrose Patch.
Pinchbeck echoes what Beerman said, noting that her young daughters experienced bullying in their elementary school. The concerned parent says Ferraro's suicide "is a huge wake up for people to act."
Actions are, indeed, often louder than words. Hopefully the CV community can work with the GUSD to further explore the issue of bullying at school, and act together to bring about positive changes.