13-year-old Jonathan Short-Scaff took his own life last week due to bullying. According to the boy’s family and friends, he’d been teased for years at school over his slight stature.
"People made fun of him for being so little all through school," his mother, Trisha Scaff, said. "But last year is when it starting going pretty far."
Jordan Fyffe, Jonathan’s lifelong friend and teammate, told WOWKTV this week that an incident happened at football practice last week on Tuesday – the day before Scaff’s death.
"When I heard, 'Go kill yourself,' I turned to Scaff, and asked 'Did those guys just tell you to go kill yourself?' He looked at me and teared up, because he knew what was happening," Fyffe said. "I asked 'Are you alright?' He said, 'Yes. I'm tough. I'll get through this.' I said, 'Yes, you are.'"
Scaff seemed alright the next day, too. His mother said Jonathan greeted her with his typical smile when she came home from work.
"I got home from work that morning, and he rushed out to the van, and even opened up the van door for me,” Scaff said. “He said 'Hey Mom. How was your first day at work?' Not an hour later is when we found him."
Jonathan’s father, Randy Scaff, said one of the most frustrating things about the tragedy is that little changed at Jonathan’s school even after they went to his principal and reported the bullying.
"They just need to do a better job when a child comes to them and tells them stuff like that," Straff said. "It just isn't because he was bullied at one school. It's going on at other places too. It needs to stop."
The Straff’s told WOWKTV they went public with their story in hopes of raising awareness about how serious a problem bullying is.
"People have to try to get help," Jonathan’s mother said. "This bullying has got to stop before this happens to another family."