TULSA - A number of parents and students in the Coweta School District blame what they paint as a pervasive environment of bullying for the suicide of a 15-year-old boy inside the school Monday morning.
A KRMG investigation has uncovered evidence of some of the bullying, which friends of Triston say has gone on for years at various schools.
A 14-year-old, whose name we're withholding by request, says the notes put in her locker were so vicious she actually considered committing suicide herself.
A scan of the last note, which prompted her to finally go to her parents, is posted with this story as a JPG image.
"It was with me that entire day. I just read it, and read it, and read it, and read it, and read it, until I started to believe a couple of the things. It said I was worthless, and I felt like I was worthless."
Already somewhat depressed, she said the note almost pushed her over the edge.
"I knew I was going to hurt myself and it could have been permanent," she says.
But ultimately, she showed someone the note and they told her parents who got the girl some help.
They had already gone to the school about the bullying problem, which they tell KRMG had been going on incessantly for years, since at least the fifth grade.
The intermediate school eventually put a camera near her locker, which is when she stopped getting the notes and that's when they started going to Triston.
Her friends also described getting similar notes, though in at least one case they were handwritten, not typed out like the one posted here.
At the Coweta Junior High, the girls parents say the principal basically ridiculed their concerns.
"He tried the 'kids will be kids' stuff, then he called this group of kids (the bullying victims) the 'Columbine kids,'" the girl's mother says.
The girl says Triston had talked about having homicidal thoughts just last October.
She and her friends all agreed he had a gentle spirit and couldn't have hurt anyone.
Instead, he apparently turned the rage and frustration he felt against himself.
Ironic, says the father. "Now you see all these people crying, and all these people hurting, and all this. Do you really think Triston really believed that that many people were going to be hurt by this? If he had known this many people would hurt, he might not have done it."
Referring to the candlelight vigil held Monday evening at the school, he added, "Now if they (the other students) start getting those thoughts, they can think back to that vigil and (consider) do you really want to do that to people who love you?"
Meanwhile, the Coweta Superintendent, Jeff Holmes, sent KRMG a statement that reads as follows:
Students at all eight school sights (sic) of Coweta Public Schools returned to school today following an extremely difficult day. Attendance is near normal rates at all sites with the exception of the Intermediate High School where attendance is better than expected. Approximately fifty students more than normal were not in attendance.
More than twenty additional counselors were scattered throughout the school district today to meet the needs of students and staff. The majority of those counselors were assisting inside the Intermediate High School.
Counselors from the surrounding school districts of Bixby, Broken Arrow, Porter, Oktaha, and Hilldale were used as well as various other crisis teams. Multiple other school districts and agencies are currently on stand by and may be used in upcoming days. We plan to have additional counselors available as long as necessary.
The support for our students and staff has been tremendous. Our local community is so supportive of our students and staff. On behalf of Coweta Public Schools, I want to thank everyone who has extended their thoughts, prayers, and good deeds to us.
Information given to KRMG Monday indicated that the enrollment at the intermediate school is approximately 200 students.
Supt. Holmes has not returned several phone calls by KRMG reporters attempting to get the school's response to the allegations concerning bullying.