Staten Island teen was bullied before suicide, family says
The family of a Staten Island teen who died after jumping in front of a city bus said "ruthless" teens that tormented her might have led to her apparent suicide.
Amanda Cummings, 15, died Monday from injuries she sustained when she stepped in front of a bus last Tuesday night at Hylan Boulevard and Hunter Avenue, her family said. Police said they found a note in Cummings' pocket after the crash that "alluded to a dispute with [her] boyfriend."
Keith Cummings, the high school sophomore's uncle, said regular bullying "was definitely part" of what caused Amanda to take her life.
"They would all pick on her regardless of what she wore, what she did, what kind of makeup she had on - they always had something smart to say to her," Cummings told amNewYork Tuesday of the alleged bullying. He said one girl interested in a boy Amanda was seeing also "threatened her with a knife."
Since learning about the bullying from Amanda's friends over the past week, her family contacted police and officials at New Dorp High School, where she attended.
"Something's gotta be done about this," Cummings said, adding that teachers needed to be more proactive to stop the teasing and parents need to "teach their kids not to be such damn ruthless animals."
School officials could not be reached for comment by press time.
Friends and family posted on a memorial blog, and on Facebook to express their grief and anger towards Cummings' death.
A woman who identified herself as Cummings' aunt railed against her alleged tormentors.
She wrote Tuesday: "For the girls that bullied her you should be ashamed of yourselves... Does it make you tough to bully other girls? Does it make you smarter or better?"
The family has taken in nearly $1,000 in donations through the blog to cover funeral costs.
Follow reporter Marc Beja on Twitter: @marc_beja