Joshua Pacheco, the 17-year-old student from Linden High School who committed suicide Tuesday, was "a happy kid with a glowing smile" according to his friends who contacted Cars 108 via email. The students also stated that "Josh was continuously bullied."

"He kept inside everything he was feeling and what was going on behind closed doors." They cited incidents in which Josh had been taped to a locker, and said that attempts were made to shove the 6' 3" Junior into a locker.

"We really would like for Joshes [sic] story to get out and we want to make sure that nothing like this will ever happen to a student ever again - especially at Linden High School. We would like people to be held accountable for the death of our dear friend and we do not want Linden High School to just shove this aside."

Cars 108 has chosen not to reveal the identity of the students that contacted us. Pacheco's friends went on to say that schools aren't properly equipped to deal with bullying.

"They do not know how to deal with bullying and this needs to stop. They have tried 'assemblies' (standing up for 1 minute in 'silence' for bullying) but this does not make a difference, the bullies just laugh through it."

Statistics suggest they're right. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of students age 12-18 who reported being bullied has increased by 24.5 percent since 2003.

Published reports indicate that Josh's problems at school, and his low self esteem led him to take his own life. He had recently come out as a homosexual, and reportedly endured some ridicule because of his orientation. He had an appointment to talk to a professional on the day after his death.

In an interview with the Tri-County Times, Josh's father, David Pacheco, encouraged victims to speak up.

“Josh would never give us names. He was so intimidated by these kids who picked on him. If he would have given me or the school details, we would have handled it. Don’t be afraid to speak out. You need to tell people what’s going on.”

Lynette Capehart, Josh's mother, wants kids to know that it's perfectly acceptable to be different.

"There is no mold. Not everyone is the same. People need to step back and see how their actions affect others. Take pride in who you are. It doesn’t matter what others say. The world is so much bigger than high school.”

- George McIntyre
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