Wellsville mother speaks out against bullying, after son tries t - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Wellsville mother speaks out against bullying, after son tries to take his own life

Updated:

AKRON, Ohio - An openly gay student at Wellsville High School is on a ventilator with lung complications after attempting to take his own life.

His mother says her son was bullied at school.

Bonnie Rodriguez of Wellsville says her son, 15-year-old Austin Rodriguez, was really lethargic on Friday evening, and when she asked him what was wrong, he collapsed.

She immediately took him to a local hospital and on Saturday morning he was flown by medical helicopter to the main campus of Akron Children's Hospital.

21 News traveled to Akron to sit down with the mother of the Wellsville teenager.

Bonnie Rodriguez says her 15-year-old son declared his homosexuality just six to eight months ago. First telling family, then friends, and then no longer hiding it from classmates at school.

The teenager's mother says it was shortly after coming out that her son, who is a straight-A student, began getting bullied at school.

She says at first her son appeared happy and relieved, and then she thought he may have been going through a depression and asked him about it several times, but he never really explained the extent of what he was going through.

Austin Rodriquez is now heavily sedated, and on a ventilator to help him breath. His mother says her son swallowed more than 100 of his own prescription pills. She has now learned from his friends that the bullying became overwhelming.

Rodriguez says, "I actually didn't know how bad it was for him in school until he actually did this. And until friends came out of the woodwork saying we knew Austin was going through this, we thought he was handling it a lot better. We didn't know what to do."

From what his mother has learned, the bullying was not only cruel, but enough to make a teenager who was already introverted, feel like an outcast. "It was electronic, it was face to face bullying, they were hiding his gym clothes because they didn't want him changing in the locker room with them. They didn't want him to eat by them, or in the school lunchroom," Rodriguez said.

The Wellsville mother prays that what happened to her son will spark open discussions on the issue of bullying in school. She warns parents that if you feel there's something going on with your child, trust those instincts and be aggressive in getting to the bottom of it.

Now as this mother fights for her son and her son fights to recover, she's determined to raise awareness about the dangerous impact of bullying and how it nearly cost her son his life.

Doctors say the next few days will be critical for Austin and they're optimistic that he will recover.

  • Sports ScoresMore>>

  • Scrappers make it back to back wins on Gonzalez's big night

    Scrappers make it back to back wins on Gonzalez's big night

    Sunday, June 25 2017 11:51 AM EDT2017-06-25 15:51:56 GMT

    Oscar Gonzalez's second home run of the game in the seventh inning lifts the Scrappers past Auburn 5-4, making it back-to-back wins for Mahoning Valley.

    More >>

    Oscar Gonzalez's second home run of the game in the seventh inning lifts the Scrappers past Auburn 5-4, making it back-to-back wins for Mahoning Valley.

    More >>
  • Scrappers beat Auburn in extra innings

    Scrappers beat Auburn in extra innings

    Friday, June 23 2017 12:04 AM EDT2017-06-23 04:04:07 GMT

    The Scrappers won for the first time at Eastwood Field this season 5-4 in 10 innings against Auburn.  Jonathan Laureno's walk off RBI double scored Oscar Gonzalez to send everyone home happy.   Auburn jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, with the first four batters reaching base. Paul Panaccione and Randy Encarnacion drove in the Doubledays runs. The Scrappers evened the scored in the bottom of the inning, Samad Taylor scored on a wild pitch, and Will Benso...

    More >>

    The Scrappers won for the first time at Eastwood Field this season 5-4 in 10 innings against Auburn.  Jonathan Laureno's walk off RBI double scored Oscar Gonzalez to send everyone home happy.   Auburn jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, with the first four batters reaching base. Paul Panaccione and Randy Encarnacion drove in the Doubledays runs. The Scrappers evened the scored in the bottom of the inning, Samad Taylor scored on a wild pitch, and Will Benso...

    More >>
  • Moldovan defends title at Mill Creek

    Moldovan defends title at Mill Creek

    Thursday, June 22 2017 11:47 PM EDT2017-06-23 03:47:54 GMT
    Maxwell Moldovan of Uniontown, Ohio defended his title at the Mill Creek Foundation Junior All Star tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. Moldovan shot a 68 for a three day total of 203, finishing three strokes ahead of Aaron Du of Lake Mary, Florida. Taylor Kehoe of Strathroy, Ontario captured the girls division at 205, after shooting 67 on the final day.   Manhue Chen of China placed second, six strokes back. Brookfield's Connor Stevens finished tied...More >>
    Maxwell Moldovan of Uniontown, Ohio defended his title at the Mill Creek Foundation Junior All Star tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. Moldovan shot a 68 for a three day total of 203, finishing three strokes ahead of Aaron Du of Lake Mary, Florida. Taylor Kehoe of Strathroy, Ontario captured the girls division at 205, after shooting 67 on the final day.   Manhue Chen of China placed second, six strokes back. Brookfield's Connor Stevens finished tied...More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms