It is a tragic ending to a very young life. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of 12-year-old Miguel Rodriguez, a 7th grader at West Hernando Middle School.
On Wednesday, a relative found Rodriguez after an apparent suicide.
Camille Allen, 14, said the two used to have a lot of classes together. "He was always with a smile on his face. He was always funny, too."
But she also says Miguel often seemed upset about bullies bothering him.
"I asked him if he was OK. 'Cause he seemed down. He seemed like the type of guy that had trust issues, so he didn't tell hardly anyone about the issues. So he probably bottled them in."
The principal at West Hernando Middle says the students and staff are devastated. Counselors have been on hand to help students deal with this tragedy.
"A tragedy like this, I just can't put into words," said Principal Carmine Rufa.
Many parents say bullies are becoming a major issue that is affecting more and more students.
"It's affecting everyone. Bullies are terrible. It's awful," offered Jody Rapp, a mom of a West Hernando student.
We spoke to families who say their children have been teased and taunted by classmates.
"I think it's out of control. I think the school should do more about it. They should take it more serious. These kids are getting bullied and I think it affects them," said Joie Vignola.
Parents are being encouraged to talk to their kids. Kids are being told to speak up and seek help, instead of taking drastic steps.
The sheriff's office is investigation Miguel's death. They are also investigating the claims of bullying.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?