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Parents of Tormented Teen Offer Reward to Find Daughter's Bullies

Police and school district officials are grappling with a series of harassment incidents at Los Alamitos High School.

ORANGE COUNTY, CA -- The parents of a local high school teen are offering $1,000 for information leading to the identities of their daughter’s bullies.

So far, two Los Alamitos High School students have been disciplined, and police and school authorities are looking for additional students who may have harassed Kaylie Castillo, 16, and distributed sexually explicit material at the school to bully her.

In the wake of the incidents, other students at the school told Patch they too had been the victims of classmate bullying based on racism, homophobia or misogyny. One teen said it got so bad he tried to kill himself.

Kaylie’s parents told CBS News they were offering $1,000 for information that would identify the people responsible for harassing their daughter.

Last week, someone placed a photo of a naked woman with Kaylie’s head pasted onto it inside lockers at the high school, according to district officials. Her tormenters also faked sexually explicit text messages in her name.

Two students have already been disciplined, said Sherry Kropp, Los Alamitos Unified School District superintendent.

“We take this seriously, and it’s not being ignored. We are going to stay on it until the perpetrator is caught,” Kropp said. "I feel confident we will find the person responsible. It has proven to be more difficult than we thought it would be, but we have a lot of good leads.”

Kropp declined to name the two students already disciplined. However, anyone caught sexting or transmitting explicit photos of a teenager is culpable and could face criminal charges, Kropp said. Perpetrators also face suspension or expulsion, she added.

Students leaving class at Los Alamitos High School on Friday had a mix of reactions to the bullying allegations.

Some said bullying was rare at the school, but others said it was common.

Sophomore Kayliyah Johnson and two friends said black girls at the school endure insults from other students. Johnson, who is African-American, said she’s heard jokes and racist comments from students who don't realize the hurt they cause.

“They don’t see it as bullying,” Johnson said. “They see it as being funny.”

As an example, Johnson and her two friends said someone had created a photo stream on Instagram, the Facebook photo sharing service, titled “skank_bitchez_of_los_al” and put pictures of some juniors on it.  

Johnson said she thinks parents should get involved and teach their children that bullying is not acceptable.

Rayce Sabo, a sophomore from Los Alamitos, said he felt bullying didn’t happen often at the school and that the Castillo incident was a random occurrence.  

“I don’t know if they should [crack] down on bullying because stuff’s always going to happen,” said Sabo, one of the students who found the Photoshopped image of Castillo’s head on the body of porn star, in his locker.

Sabo said if what happened to Castillo had happened to him, it wouldn’t have bothered him.

“I don’t really care what people think about me that much,” Sabo said.

Freshman Analeisa Davison, a Rossmoor resident, said she believes school officials are “doing all they can to control it when it happens,” but it’s hard to respond when it’s a random occurrence.

What if it happened to her?

“I would just be really hurt and kind of confused,” Davison said. However, she knows “kids can get kind of jealous or really catty because they’re girls.”  

Gabby Hartman, 17, a junior who allegedly ended up on the Instagram photostream, sent a text message to one of her friends talking about her pain.

“I Just Want The Bullying To Stop & And It’s Just Ridiculous How People Could Live Their Lives Knowing That They’re Hurting People,” Hartman wrote in the text message.

Nico, a student who asked that his last name not be used, said he experienced his share of bullying during sixth and seventh grade at McAuliffe Middle School before attending LAHS. He said he still hears hurtful insults at LAHS.

At one point, he said, the bullying got so intense at McAuliffe that he tried to hang himself with a belt. He said the belt broke.

He said the abuse made him feel worthless, but he also thought bullying was a universal experience. "I thought, like, everyone got bullied," Nico said. 

Nico, who describes himself as bisexual, said bullying at LAHS was more verbal abuse than physical.

He said the school should make sure to punish those who bully. In the latest incident, he said, those who aided the pranks against Castillo should be suspended and those who masterminded the action should be expelled.

Anyone with information about the incidents cans call the Los Alamitos Police Department at 562-431-2255 or Los Alamitos High School Principal Josh Arnold at 562-799-4780.

joe long December 10, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Bravo, as a parent I would seek out the parents of the bullies as I did in the past only to find out that the parents were morbidly obese and my son was being bullied for being a few pounds overweight who now plays soccer for div. one college team. I did have some fun with the father which he will never forget.
Cody C. December 10, 2012 at 06:56 PM
A little tip to Nico, hey bud, perhaps the fact your bullied, may have something to do with the fact your openly discussing being bisexual, now im no proponent of bullying, but Id have to think in High School, you may want to keep that to yourself, lets look at the things that may attract the bullies, and go from there, I mean im not saying it's right, but it's just not one of those things thats relevant to anything to do with High School, and much like the military, really has no reason at all to be announced, your not in High School to highlight your sexual preference, your there to be educated, and I have to think you keeping your sexuality to yourself, might just keep you off the map of bullies, I don't know, just a thought, and I could be absolutely wrong about it, Just my opine.
ROSEYWOLF December 10, 2012 at 06:56 PM
i AM 53 YRS OLD,when i was in jr High, 3 of my classmates in PE pulled my skirt down showing my underwear, The PE teacher did nothing, I told the girls next time i would retaliate, they pulled my skirt down again, so I backhanded them knocking one to her butt, I was sent to the principles office, to be suspended for fighting, I told him ( principle) what happened, he was going to do nothing to the girls ( girls will be girls) He called my mom, well when mom got done with him, they got in house suspension i got 1 day of detention. FIGHT BACK, AND BY THE WAY I AM BY NATURE A PEACE FULL NON VIOLENT PERSON. YOU HAVE TO STAND UP FOR YOUR SELF, NO MATTER WHAT
Susan December 10, 2012 at 07:09 PM
"Sabo said if what happened to Castillo had happened to him, it wouldn’t have bothered him." What teenaged boy wouldn't care if his face were pasted onto the body of a porn star?! They'd probably like it - but how about if his face were posted on the body of a porn star actively engaged on the receiving end of a homosexual encounter? I'd bet he'd have a vastly DIFFERENT opinion of 'bullying' then! The sad truth of bullying is that bullies choose the thing they figure will most hurt or upset their victims - shows how little this particular student actually knows about bullying. Maybe the solution should begin with a required class on bullying in ALL schools so that youngsters can learn exactly WHAT constitutes bullying and the potential effects on ALL parties involved in it.??
Cecilio Pujadas December 10, 2012 at 07:14 PM
OUT THEM. Bullies must be identified and their acts exposed to the school community via a website. Parents need to create an online resource for kids that will strike fear into the bullies rather than the victims.
Suzy December 10, 2012 at 07:21 PM
No wonder you go by John Q. Doe - I wouldn't want my identity known after posting such an idiotic statement
Sabra Bruning December 10, 2012 at 07:32 PM
To me this is borderline psychotic behavior on the part of the bullies. No empathy for the suffering they are causing another human being. Surely not a good use of their time. Sociopaths start young.
MotorCityMama December 10, 2012 at 07:40 PM
I was teased and bullied as a child. The school did nothing and my mother did even less. I still feel hurt by the words and actions of several people. I will say this, life does have a habit of coming full circle. I recently looked up one of my tormentors. He is now a bald, ugly man with yellow teeth. He never married and is not too successful, running a cheezy tourist art shop in Edinburgh, TX. I laughed all day when I saw his picture. What goes around comes around.
Christopher Cole December 10, 2012 at 07:41 PM
They were disciplined? I am sorry, but from what the article says that these "bullies"... (I would call them criminals... but that's just my opinion), did to this girl, and or other people as well... the acts that were done, is a FELONY. So I do hope charges come from this... I am sorry but discipline???? That is not the proper punishment to make them let alone people reading this article, how wrong and hurtful it is, to do such things.....
Christopher Cole December 10, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Your voted off the island.
Christopher Cole December 10, 2012 at 07:42 PM
I agree!
Christopher Cole December 10, 2012 at 07:48 PM
You wanted to post THAT as your opinion??? That is the most ignorant thing I have seen so far, you win.
Christopher Cole December 10, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Correct! Happened to someone at my old High School... she got a felony for it. She pasted someone from the school's picture onto a nude body photo from a magazine. Which is the same thing that's happened here. THEY so better be prosecuted. It's inexcusable.
Cody C. December 10, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I too was bullied and made fun of, sometimes so bad I didnt want to even go back to school, you know what I did? started noticing things on the bullies and turning the tables, I would make up stories about the bullies, actually 2 boys, and wrote letters pretending to be writing from one boy to the other, discussing meeting after school to engage in homosexual acts, and then drop it in the hallway, so people picked it up and read it believing it was the 2 bullies note, I would spread made up stories thru the school about the 2, and guess what, when all was said and done, they got the hint, not to fck with me, and I actually became good friends with one, they are people to and maybe if we started teaching kids the art of self preservation, and not seeing yourself as a victim, instead grow a set and stand up for yourself, I am living proof you do not have to do a thing physically to call off the bullies, you just have to quit being a cry baby and a victim and have some respect for yourself.
Gregory December 10, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Everyone has the right to express their opinion, that's why this posting board exists. I would hope that everyone will "think twice" before posting anything encouraging violence. Your post remains long after you log off, and lest not forget young children are impressionable. My first thought is also anger at bullies, however, I try hard to remember that often times bullies themselves are the most insecure, and frequently from troubles within their own homes. It would be nice to see feedback from professionals trained in child behavior as well. As parents we rightfully do anything possible to protect our children, but often times it's easy to overlook the big picture. Bullying is wrong. Reminding our children that those who bully are the insecure ones with low self esteem, and jealousy, might be the best initial discussion at home.
Jane Kleinberger December 10, 2012 at 09:51 PM
All - I could not be more pleased to see the concern and outrage that everyone has over these repeated situations at Los Al High. HOWEVER, PLEASE WRITE TO THE SCHOOL!!!! I did! As a parent, I am deeply disappointed that the school and the school district are not more actively addressing the growing problem with the general assembly of the school and with us, the parents. Had it not been for the excellent coverage of CBS news last week and the coverage by The Patch, most of us would never have known of this most recent act of vile, hate, and vulgarity. In addition to the work the Castillos are doing, I am pleading with the school to take some PUBLIC action... like CBS news, I've heard nothing. Children have ended their lives over situations like this and to see posts from others in our school district stating that they were also victims and actually considered suicide should be enough for all of us to wake up. We must all do something!!! My family has personally pledged additional money to the Castillo's reward money. There should be no problem in identifying and holding the perpetrator(s) liable. There's a pretty heavy evidence trail! Kaylie is a sweet, beautiful young lady... polite, helpful, respectful! Let's protect her and all children against bullying!
Tina Edwards December 11, 2012 at 03:23 AM
This is not just bullying... It is stalking in this case. I don't see how parents can't recognize that they are raising some twisted kids that don't care about others feelings. It's really sad and I pray they catch the person in this specific case bc it has been going on too long. Don't some of you kids care about your future.. My student has been followed by these Instagram sl**s of Los al etc.. She has to block them. Why can't the police and school officials find out who is doing this and punish the perps that are creating these threads? It seems like it should be easier than all this!
Beverly December 11, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Why can't SCHOOLS teach ACADEMIC EDUCATION and PARENTS teach their children MORALS and RESPECT for self and others?!
Grandpaw December 11, 2012 at 04:56 AM
The well-to-do white conservatives are usually the bullies.
Jerry Patte December 11, 2012 at 07:57 AM
Obama should be charged for Race crimes against Whites in America.
met00 December 11, 2012 at 09:27 AM
Okay, what's the back story? As more than one commenter on here pointed out, they were the recipients of bullying and they did "over the top" responses to the aggressors in order to "put the shoe on the other foot". Is this a case where a 16 year old girl is a victim or is it a case where a 16 year old girl is "getting her comeuppance" with an over the top retaliation? In no way do I approve of either, but the story is lacking in that we don't know anything that happened before the incident. Before I can form an opinion over this incident I need more data. In general I agree with Ms. Johnson's statement. Parents need to actively parent. In this incident thought I have not enough data to form an educated opinion. So, Patch, if you could get a backstory here I would appreciate it.
Frank Zoodle December 11, 2012 at 09:49 PM
I graduated from Los Al rougly 6 years ago. Bullying really wasnt a problem at the time (though it certainly could be now) but what I don't understand is, the parents there let their kids do anything they want, whether its drinking, smoking, having big parties at their house, it doesnt matter. The parents should be more focused on keeping their kids from making stupid decisions, and maybe the girls there wouldnt get made fun of for being sluts, and bullies would know its wrong to do what they're doing. But no, I guess this is the best course of action. Simply punish the people who are legally in the wrong, even though everyone is morally in the wrong. Perfect.
aguadecoco Folana December 16, 2012 at 10:30 PM
yes, and thousands of adults thinks the same way, they are called stalkers, both women and men
aguadecoco Folana December 16, 2012 at 10:32 PM
we are not reading that they took matters into their own hands, and killed. clap clap clap yes, I agree Find these sociopaths who bully, they are the next serial killers.
aguadecoco Folana December 16, 2012 at 10:33 PM
stop whining and take your medications~
aguadecoco Folana December 16, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Because, America has been out of balance since the ships arrived. You can't muder millions of people for their land and think that was smart and not feel the internal ramifacations, called Karma, not Carmen
aguadecoco Folana December 16, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Bullies are your future serial killers or serial killer makers.....Americans make serial killers. Many wonder what happened, well now, bullies have a lot to do with all of these killings in schools today. We need a law against bulling and prison time as well. If not prison, another devils island would do
aguadecoco Folana December 16, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Mom and Dad, getum! ! ! ! May you find peace in their capture
aguadecoco Folana December 16, 2012 at 10:50 PM
When I was a kid, i grabbed the leader in front of her cronies, it never happened again! 1950's bullies need a good Azz whipping or whatever happens to them, so be it
K Christensen April 11, 2013 at 09:34 PM
I know Kaylie. We are in dance together. And I am shocked that anyone would do something like this to her. She is the sweetest girl I have ever met. I hate those kinds of people...

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