Friends suspect Danville freshman committed suicide, students say boy was bullied

- 15-year-old Ben Curry died after he was found at the bottom of a high school swimming pool at San Ramon Valley High School, in Danville. 

The boy was taken to Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek after a medical emergency in the pool, police reported.

Students told KTVU the victim was a freshman at the school and that the P.E. teacher jumped into the pool to try and rescue the boy. It is unclear how long the boy was in the pool, but KTVU was told the incident happened during lunchtime. 

Authorities say firefighters answering a report of a possible drowning went to San Ramon Valley High School in Danville shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Investigators were still on the scene at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday and seemed to be focusing on the deep end of the pool which is more than 13-feet deep. 

Student Aidan Vaupen said he attended P.E. class with the victim earlier in the day and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. "It's just hard knowing that he's there one second and then he's not. I don't know if he's going to be here tomorrow but I hope to God he is," Vaupen said. "I hope he's okay. His parents are in my heart right now."

Friends told KTVU they suspected Curry committed suicide. Other students, who said the boy who was smaller in stature was frequently bullied. A memorial was started at the gates that surround the swimming pool. 

Schoolmates said Curry was troubled and attempted suicide last month. One student said she met him through a peer support group called, Breaking Down the Walls. 

"Ben was really sweet and really shy," said Julia Item, a junior at the school. "I know he was bullied a lot and thought he didn't have a lot of people he could rely on or a lot of close friends." 

San Ramon Valley High School principal Jason Krolikowski said in a statement to parents and school staff, "Words seem inadequate to express the sadness that many in our community are feeling as they receive this information."

Students were placed on a temporary lockdown but will be released from school at the regular dismissal time, police said. 

Police said the lockdown was implemented as a precaution when the medical emergency happened. 

Psychologists, school counselors and a school district support team will be available Wednesday for any students who need help dealing with the grief over the death, Krolikowski said. 

"If your child needs help dealing with her or his grief, please ask them to reach out to the support available at school," Krolikowski said. 

Danville police are currently investigating the incident. The police chief said they will be interviewing students and looking for evidence to determine what happened. 

Associated Press contributed to this report. 
 

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