Westdale Middle School.jpg

Westdale Middle School

Baton Rouge Police have launched a criminal investigation into the recent suicide of a 13-year-old boy and are looking into whether bullying was a contributing factor in his death. 

The student, who attended Westdale Middle School, died earlier this week.

BRPD spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. said police launched the investigation shortly after learning about the incident and the possibility that bullying was a factor. 

Taylor Gast, a spokesperson with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, said there was an incident at the school Sept. 27 in which one student cut another student's hair in class. 

The EBR Parish School System on Friday released the following statement regarding the student's death: 

"The East Baton Rouge Parish School System is deeply saddened over the loss of a student at Westdale Middle School. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.

"The district is conducting a thorough examination of all information and is following procedures to address this devastating tragedy. The district will continue to provide the school with additional counselors, I CARE specialists and social workers to assist the campus and offer comfort to students and faculty during this time of bereavement."

Gast said she was not aware police were launching their own investigation.

Staff writer Charles Lussier contributed to this report. 

Email Jacqueline DeRobertis at jderobertis@theadvocate.com