Paterson girl commits suicide, family blames bullying at school | Paterson Times

Paterson girl commits suicide, family blames bullying at school


A fifth grader from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School committed suicide at her home on East 27th Street. Some of her family members claim she was bullied at the school which prompted her to take her own life.

11-year-old Samara Moreno committed suicide on Friday, Dec. 14, according to school and municipal officials. Police received a call at about 6 p.m. that a young girl had hung herself at her house on East 27th Street between Park and 17th Avenue.

Picture of Samara Moreno from a funeral flyer.

Picture of Samara Moreno from a funeral flyer.

Police director Jerry Speziale and school district spokesman Paul Brubaker referred requests for comment to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office which is investigating the incident. A call to Passaic County prosecutor Camelia Valdes’ office was transferred to chief assistant prosecutor Jason Statuto.

Statuto did not respond to a request for comment last Friday.

“I heard an ambulance came and then a black truck came and took the body,” said Kevin Ramos, who lives across the street from the house. “I heard she told the school twice that they were bullying her and they didn’t do anything.”

A woman, who identified the girl as her niece, wrote on social media, that the 11-year-old “took her life because of being bullied in school just because she didn’t have the same color skin or that she couldn’t talk proper English or didn’t have all the latest things.”

Moreno was brought to the U.S. in 2014. She was born in El Salvador, according to her obituary.

Some school board members questioned district administrators about the incident. They were told neither the student nor her parents ever reported a case of bullying to the school or the district.

The school system allows students and parents to report incidents of bullying to the school or directly to the district.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School had six reported cases of bullying in the 2018-19 school year, according to school officials.

On Friday, the day she took her own life, there was an incident at the school, where she intervened in a dispute between a girl, her friend, and a boy in her classroom, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the incident. She and another student were given detention as a result.

No one answered the door at the house on East 27th Street this past Saturday morning.

School officials made grief counselors available to the students after the suicide. Last Thursday, superintendent Eileen Shafer held a meeting with parents at the school. Fewer than a dozen parents attended the meeting.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of resources at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.

Email: [email protected]

  • Unc

    Hanged, Not "Hung"

    • Michael Bastard

      I taught English for 20 years. "Hung" is proper usage. No less an authority than W. B. Yeats has used it in this way in his book "The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore."

      "A mayo woman once said to me, “I knew a servant girl who hung herself for the love of God. She was lonely for the priest and her society, and hung herself to the banisters with a scarf. She was no sooner dead than she became white as a lily…"

      • Unc

        hanged—is the past or past participle of hang. It is used to refer to the execution of a person by hanging a rope around the neck

      • Unc

        I'm glad I wasn't in your class!!!!

      • jimmyxx

        From Garner's Modern English Usage (2016) at p. 450:

        "Coats and pictures are hung, and sometimes so are juries. . . . To be hanged is to be suspended by the neck with a rope or cord for the purpose of causing death."

      • Miss jamaica

        You are correct.
        You can also goggle and see

  • Natacha Mary Villafane

    This is true paterson department of education doesnt do any thing in cases of bulling because that happen to my own kids and no one did anything i even go myself to the principal without resoonse. My kids use to go school 6 at that time. That situation cause counseling and psyquiatric intervetion on my kids. Its no fair we send our kids healthy and this institutions doesnt do nothing to keep our childrens safe and secure in a place that they should feel comfortable. This is insane!!!!

    • Nellie

      my son got bullied in this school a few years ago and they didnt do NOTHING about it. I had to say i will call the cops and call the media. They did something real quick. This couldve been my son. But thank god I took care of it myself.

    • Miss jamaica

      It was the same for my son. As parent we have to show up for our kids. It got so bad for my son I had to call Paterson police.
      Finally a teacher call me at my house and said get him out of there.
      My son will not fit in that school.
      My saving grace was moving my son out of that school and sending if to another here
      He is ok he went on to college now

      • peejay1954

        Teacher said get him out of there? WTF ! The school should've got the bully's out of there, not your kid AND into juvenile hall. (do they even have that any more? if not, the should bring it back) Sorry you had to go through that

        • Miss jamaica

          I am forever graceful to that teacher.
          I can name of some of the teacher / principal/ school but I will leave it at that
          If you are a home owner prepare yourself
          The lawsuit will come
          Please remember the case in Rockaway NJ.

  • ToughStuff2012

    hanged not "hung."

    Hung is about an object. Like when you hung a picture. Hanged is used for people.

  • priscilla caciano

    I would hope the"bullys" would hang themselves!!!!

    • Miss jamaica

      Karma is coming. Trust me on that one. It’s only a matter of time.
      One of my son bully is no longer on this earth. It usually happen sometimes very slow .

  • Greg Mo Sick

    I got bullied in the Paterson Public School district growing up and BAD…. but I promise you something, let them try me now, I would beat they face in and put a pistol to they head, show em what a Marine is about

  • Nellie

    This poor little girl. 95% of this kids in this school are BULLIES. I BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT NOT HAVING THE LATEST THINGS, THE SAME COLOR. 1st of all not alot kids are lucky to have the latest things. That's what the problem is this parents teaching this kids IGNORANCE.

  • Miss jamaica

    My heart ache for this beautiful angel.
    I remember coming here from Jamaica many years ago and remember how bad it was for me.
    I also remember it so bad for my son I had to call Paterson police at the school. And the principal at the school never want to meet with me as a concern parent. He sits in his loving office. When I called the police office the last time he came running out as I was about to call the media next.
    These schools must do more to protect our children.
    This kid was clearly hurting. This bothered me a lot.
    Karma is coming trust me.

    Prayer to family.

  • wait…what?


  • Judy Kaye Broadnax

    This is truly a sad but not isolated case. How many of our children have to endure such torture? How many RIP must we see before it ends? My daughter whom is now 20, was bullied at Alexander Hamilton Academy; from grades 3-5. I had meetings with teachers and principal all who stated and knew my child was a victim. Young Samara was stated to not have the latest things. That allegedly made her the target. My child was teased for having an abundance. The principal stated my daughter was very articulate and while other students were disheveled. Those were her exact words. The last straw was my daughter was nearly drowned while at gym. Then and only then did something happen. I contacted the police and due to the age I was told it had to be handled by the school. I went to a lawyer and was told because my daughter didn’t have in physical damage the case would be difficult. So finally my child the victim was transferred out of district by the school district. Here we are 10 years later and my now adult daughter suffers from ptsd anxiety and depression. All a result of the paterson public school system. I sent a perfectly bright energetic child to a school that was supposed to have a safe social environment. They turned her into a fearful nervous depressed individual. That’s the lesser of the evils when it comes to this young girl. Nevertheless the ordeal is not over for my child! My prayers go out to the family and friends of this child. There should be a class action suit for all the victims that have documented proof of bullying. May she rest easy now.