At Ohio School, 4 Bullied Teens Lost to Suicide
Tragedy at Mentor High School
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2010 7:31 AM CDT
In this Sept. 1, 2010 photo, a portrait of Sladjana Vidovic, who committed suicide in 2008, sits in the living room of her family's Mentor, Ohio home.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

(Newser) – The image is a heartbreaking one: 16-year-old Sladjana Vidovic lying in an open casket, dressed in the sparkly pink dress she had intended to wear to prom. It's an image that has been repeated three more times at Mentor High School, an institution that has seen three suicides and one overdose in the past two years. All were victims of bullying: Vidovic, a native Croatian, was teased for her accent and called "Slutty Jana"; one was harassed for having a learning disability, another for being gay, a fourth for being a boy who wore pink.

Now two families, including the Vidovics, are suing the school district. Vidovic's parents reportedly begged the school to intervene many times, and say it promised to take care of Sladjana—but when they asked to see records related to their reports of bullying, the school said they were destroyed during a switch to computers. And the Vidovics say they haven't seen much soul-searching among the bullies in Mentor: The family watched, said Sladjana's sister, as the girls who had tormented her for months walked up to the casket—and laughed. Some students say the problem is Mentor's culture of conformity: If you're not an athlete or cheerleader, you're not cool. And if you're not cool, you're a prime target for the bullies, reports the AP.

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Showing 3 of 63 comments
Sep 17, 2015 4:27 AM CDT
This BS is a product of the messed-up school system. It starts in seventh grade, where the goal is being popular, getting laid, and/or being a star on a team. Nothing else matters. Nobody encourages anyone. It is very sad. And, it is the fault of the teachers and principals, who seem to encourage that the "cool" people keep others down.
Ellie Oaks
Jun 21, 2014 6:39 PM CDT
It's really so sad to hear this, bullies are evrywhere and any child can be a victim anytime and anytime, its so alarming, luckily anti-bullying is strongly campaigned right now. let me just share you something which can really be helpful for your child when they encounter bullying. Promise this is really a life saver mobile app. Check this out!!!/page_home
Oct 11, 2010 7:06 PM CDT
Is from North Ohio, I had relatives who went to Mentor High, this doesn't really shock me much..I remember the people from their school...very snobby, thought they were better then everyone else. Lol, you couldn't pay me any amount to go back to a school, i quit it at 16, where i live now, you could legally go at 16 without parents involvement.....and i hit that door getting out of prison, sad part is i committed no crime, but still dealt with that punishment for 10 damn years. Teachers out there, not doing anything about the bullying, such as every single teacher i had....sit there and listen to it in YOUR classroom..and do'll get yours.....i love Karma.....same goes to those who do the bullying..yes you ARE old enough to KNOW EXACTLY what you are doing...this 'kids being cruel' crap...pathetic excuses as to why kids do this...being a kid does not excuse you from knowing right and wrong....... sad..just really sad