NMPED apologizes after sending truancy notice to family of boy who died by suicide | KOB 4

NMPED apologizes after sending truancy notice to family of boy who died by suicide

Kai Porter
Updated: December 15, 2020 10:15 PM
Created: December 15, 2020 06:45 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The heartbroken parents of 11-year-old Landon Fuller, who died by suicide eight months ago, are having to experience the pain of losing her son again after the Department of Public Education sent them a truancy letter for Landon.

“It was very re-traumatizing, I guess you could say,” said Katrina Fuller, Landon’s mom.

Katrina and her husband were shocked when they received the truancy letter from the state.

”It was essentially a form letter,” said Katrina. “Asking why my son was truant from school this school year and asking me to go online to fill out a report to report on why he was truant. He had actually been unenrolled from school officially since April 24th, so it was a shock that we were receiving a letter in the mail like that.”

Landon died by suicide in April.

In a journal entry they found after his death, Landon wrote that staying home all the time was driving him mad.

Katrina says receiving the state’s letter made the pain even worse.

“My shock started turning into just rage, and it put me back into that same state of mind that I was the first day whenever I found out that my son had passed away,” she said.

Katrina said PED Secretary Ryan Stewart personally called her to apologize.

She now wants the state to do more to help prevent youth suicide and makes changes so this doesn’t happen to any other parent.

“First of all it just shows how out of touch the state is with the people of New Mexico that ,that would even happen,” she said. “But what I do hope is that it would never happen again. They need to compare the records before they start sending letters out like those.

A spokesperson for the NMPED sent KOB 4 the following statement about what happened:

We are aware of the letter sent to the family of Landon Fuller. It should never have happened. Secretary Stewart has spoken with the Fuller family and offered his personal apology. The Public Education Department will continue to scrutinize these lists and is committed to transparency around attendance recovery efforts. We are working with all parties involved to ensure something like this never happens again. Our hearts and prayers are with the Fullers in this painful moment.

If you or a loved one is struggling the number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.  

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