9-Year-Old Who Was Bullied And Attempted Suicide Will Now Be Mayor For A Day

Young Nico Pampena didn't know he was being bullied

Lynne Hayes-Freeland
April 30, 2019 - 2:39 pm

Amanda Pampena

LOWER BURRELL, Pa. (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Nico Pampena is only 9-years-old but on Saturday, May 4 he will be the mayor of Lower Burrell for a day, only months after he tried to take his own life.

Mayor Richard Callender tells KDKA Radio’s Lynne Hayes Freeland after reading a Facebook post about Nico, he was more than happy to offer up his seat.

“It talked about her son being bullied over a period of time because of his disabilities to the point where one of the children told him he should go kill himself and unfortunately that’s what he tried to do,” said Callender.

Nico’s mother Amanda tells KDKA Radio she didn’t even know that her son was being bullied.

“We had no idea he was being bullied . . . it was two girls and two boys,” said Pampena. “It had gotten to the point where it got physical, it had got verbal, they were telling him to kill himself, they were telling him that he shouldn’t live anymore, that he was ugly, threatening that their older siblings were going to beat him up. It was getting out of control.”

Pampena says Nico didn’t speak up because he didn’t know what bullying was.

Nico has ADHD, ODD which is Opposition Defiant Disorder (which means if you tell a child the sky is blue, they’ll say it’s green) and Tourette syndrome (the main reason he was being bullied).

Unfortunately Nico tried to take his own life after a particularly bad day at school but after nearly a month at Mercy Behavioral Health he is “a totally different kid,” said Pampena. “I haven’t seen him this happy in over a year.”

Pampena was getting a lot of questions about her son’s whereabouts so she decided to write a post of Facebook, hoping it would help someone else. Little did she know it would be shared over 2,700 times.

Nico’s day as mayor starts in the morning with an anti-bullying rally at city hall that will teach the community how to prevent kids from being bullied. The day will also include riding in a fire truck as well as inspecting police and fire vehicles as well as other mayoral duties before a picnic in the afternoon at Burrell Lake Park.

“He gone through so much . . . the past couple months and now this is happening and he is so excited, he cannot wait to do this on Saturday,” said Pampena.

Mayor Callender says the goal is that more people learn how to identify bullying and how to prevent it from becoming an extreme issue like in Nico’s case.