A celebration of life ceremony is scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday for Ronin Shimizu, the 12-year-old Folsom boy who committed suicide on Dec. 3 after enduring what family and friends said was years of bullying.
The service will be at Lakeside Church, 745 Oak Avenue Parkway in Folsom, and will be officiated by Brad Franklin, the church’s lead pastor. The service will open with a tribute from Boy Scout Troop 134, of which Ronin was a member. The middle school pastor for Lakeside Church and a chaplain from Sierra Law Enforcement Chaplaincy will also be involved in the service. There will be no public comments, at the request of the family.
Ronin’s death sparked a communitywide discussion of bullying in public schools. The boy’s parents had enrolled him in several different middle schools to escape bullying before finally homeschooling him.
On Dec. 11, Folsom Cordova Unified School District Superintendent Deborah Bettencourt called for her district to strengthen the support system for bullying victims in response to Ronin’s death. She said the district does a good job of tracking perpetrators, but that sometimes the victims fall through the cracks.
Ronin’s family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Ronin Shimizu Memorial Fund on gofundme.com account in Ronin’s name. The proceeds will be used to found an organization to address bullying in Ronin’s memory.
Call The Bee’s Ellen Garrison at (916) 321-1006