Gabby Cazares left a note to her family on the day she killed herself.
The 14-year-old Lakewood girl told her family she loved them.
Then she had a message for someone beyond her family.
“… don’t do this (crap) no more," the note read. "Everything has consequences.”
The Hudtloff Middle School student died May 3. A student-led protest May 9 brought to light allegations from her family that Cazares was being bullied at school.
Her family contends the bullying, and school officials' failure to stop it, contributed to her death.
The girl's mother, Ma Araceli Gutierrez, said she visited Hudtloff so many times to complain about Gabby being bullied that she lost count.
“I tell (school staff), 'Listen to me, if you don’t do something, my daughter can do something bad because now she is very depressed,' ” Gutierrez said.
She got little response from the school, Gutierrez said.
On Friday, the Clover Park School District posted a letter to Hudtloff families on its website.
"We are aware of the frustrations and issues being raised on social media and other venues," the letter, signed by superintendent Deborah LeBeau and two others, read. "Those criticisms will be reviewed by the district as we move forward."
The letter reminded parents of the district's bullying policies as well as resources available to students.
"We support the work of the Hudtloff administration and staff and believe our policies and procedures were appropriately followed," the letter stated.
Gutierrez spoke at the district's board meeting Monday night.
"You guys have to do something," she said to the board.
Tara Kerr, who has two kids at Hudtloff, echoed Gutierrez's comments.
"You say you have a policy in place to protect these kids from bullying," Kerr said. "There is a flaw somewhere in your policy that's taken the life of a child."
Kerr said one of her children was a close friend of Gabby's.
"What are you going to do to prevent another death like Gabby?" Kerr asked the board.
Alisha Tauala's son, Bo, was a classmate of Gabby's.
"Are we killing our own kids by not being able to protect them?" Tauala asked board members.
As with all suicides in its jurisdiction, Lakewood police are investigating Cazares' death, said spokesman Lt. Chris Lawler. In addition, detectives are conducting interviews and looking into the allegations raised by Gutierrez and her family.
On May 9, the family gathered in the Spanaway home of Cazares' brother, Danny Tobar, 28. Young children played with toys while adults, faces strained from grief, gathered near a shrine of flowers, candles and photos of the teen.
A family member brought an ornate white gown into the living room and showed it to each family member in turn.
“We’re going to put that on Gabby,” said her sister, Marisol Cazares, 21.
Gabby was born in California and moved with her family to Washington State as a 1-year-old.
“She had a good heart,” Gutierrez said. “A lot of people liked Gabby.”
Marisol described her younger sister as a happy, caring and unselfish girl.
“She always put others ahead of herself,” she said.
When Gabby was 13, a thyroid condition caused her hair to fall out.
“She had a lot of bald spots, so she decided to shave it all off,” Marisol said.
Gabby and Gutierrez moved from Tacoma to Lakewood over the summer. The teen started at Hudtloff in the fall.
“The first day she goes to that school, she don’t like it,” Gutierrez said. “I thought it was going to be OK because it was a new school.”
As she did at her previous school, Stewart Middle School, Gabby wore a wig to campus.
Gabby, her mother said, started to change after a few months at Hudtloff.
“She started to get very depressed,” Gutierrez said. She would come home crying.
Marisol also noticed the changes in her sister.
“She started being violent with my mom, pushing her, calling her foul words,” Marisol said.
The behavior coincided with relentless bullying from some of Gabby's classmates, the family said.
“She would always talk to me about things that would happen at school,” Marisol said.
She knew her sister was being bullied.
“I didn’t know it was to an extent where she wanted to …”
Marisol didn’t finish her thought.
Gabby also was bullied at Stewart, her family said. But the Tacoma School District’s response was different from Clover Park's, they said.
“They took action immediately," Tobar said. "And the bullying stopped. So, I know it’s possible.”
At Hudtloff, Gabby was bullied in person and on the messaging app Snapchat, he said.
Gabby began skipping school.
Then, in February, she was hospitalized after a suicide attempt.
School officials seemed more responsive after that, Gutierrez said, but the bullying started again.
It reached a climax about a month ago, the family said. Rumors spread one day that kids were going to pull Gabby’s wig off.
“She got scared and ran into the bathroom,” Marisol said. “Girls followed her in there. They were giggling, making remarks.”
Gabby called her mother from the bathroom.
“I was there when she got that call,” Tobar said. “She told me, 'Your sister’s in the bathroom, crying’.”
When Gabby left the bathroom a small crowd was gathered outside, waiting for her.
“She took off the wig and said, ‘Is this what you wanted to see? Are you happy now?’ She left crying,” Marisol said.
“Only one person (a classmate) supported Gabby that day,” Gutierrez said.
A month later Gabby was dead.
Gabby’s classmates, friends and family turned out for a vigil the evening of May 7. Two days later, more than 100 gathered again for the protest.
The students chanted, “Gabby, Gabby, Gabby” and held signs. “Words scar, rumours hurt, bullying kills,” one read.
“No one should ever go through what Gabby went through” was displayed on another.
One sign, written in Spanish, said, "Gabby, I am going to miss you."
Gutierrez has gone public about her daughter’s suicide because she doesn’t want other children bullied into a similar situation.
“I need the children to realize how cruel (it) can be to make comments and laughing (at) other children,” she said.
As for the school district, Gutierrez wants a leadership change at Hudtloff.
“It’s hard, I understand," she said. "This generation is very difficult. But that’s why they need more training to deal with this situation.”
“This bullying issue is real,” Tobar said. “You should not go to school feeling scared. You go to school to learn, to make friends, to make a better person out of yourself. Not to make enemies.”
Gabby’s funeral was held Friday.
A Gofundme page has been set up to defray Gabby Cazares' funeral expenses.