Family: Bullies drove Amanda Cummings to her death
A Staten Island teen is dead in what was likely a suicide after she was bullied for years, according to her family.
Amanda Cummings, 15, died Monday at Staten Island University Hospital from injuries she sustained after a witness reported seeing her jump in front of a bus on Dec. 27.
She was clutching a suicide note when she was struck, according to the NYPD.
Her uncle, Keith Cummings, told Metro that the New Dorp High School sophomore had been bullied since the sixth grade.
The most recent incidents, according to Cummings, involved a group of female students who sent his niece vicious text messages after she became involved with a 19-year-old.
“They were threatening her to stay away from him,” Cummings said about the bullying Amanda endured. “There is no doubt in my mind that it played a role.”
“I want him charged with statutory rape,” he fumed about the 19-year-old male.
The NYPD said yesterday that Cummings’ death is still under investigation, but no criminality is suspected.
Family defends teen on Facebook
Diane Manfredi Cummings, Keith’s wife and Amanda Cummings’ aunt, lashed out at bullies through a message she posted on the teen’s Facebook page.
“Ive been reading some disturbing things on here about how Amanda was bullied… for the girls that bullied her you should be ashamed of yourselves.. it makes you a very sad person..A very special girl was taken from her family way to soon.. So when you decide to bully the next girl remember Amamda,” the text read.
Another friend wrote, “What some people write on your wall is so disrespectful .. dnt pay any mind to them.”
High school in shock
Students at New Dorp High School were shocked to learn of Cummings’ death Monday. The Department of Education told Metro there is a crisis team at the school for students and staff members to get grief counseling.
Who was Amanda?
Those who knew the teen described her as a happy, outgoing person who spent a lot of time with her circle of friends. She would spend hours doing her hair and makeup, said her uncle, and loved experimenting with new looks.
Tyler Musante, 15, a childhood friend of Cummings, said he was shocked to learn that her death was a possible suicide.
“I wouldn’t have expected that from her,” he said. “Whenever she was with us, she seemed so strong emotionally. She was always the one to cheer us up.”
Musante said Cummings never mentioned being bullied to him.
Follow Cassandra Garrison on Twitter @CassieatMetro