A nine-year-old boy died by suicide after he came out as gay and faced bullying from classmates at his primary school, his grieving mother says.
Jamel Myles’s mum Leia Pierce discovered her son dead at their Denver home on Thursday, and a coroner’s report released this week confirmed Jamel’s cause of death as a suicide, the New York Post reported.
“Four days is all it took at school. I could just imagine what they said to him,” Pierce told local TV station KDVR.
“My son told my oldest daughter the kids at school told him to kill himself. I’m just sad he didn’t come to me.
“He didn’t deserve this. He wanted to make everybody happy even when he wasn’t. I want him back so bad.”
Pierce said her son told her he was gay a few weeks before he started fourth grade at his primary school.
“And he looked so scared when he told me. He was like, ‘Mom, I’m gay,’” she said.
“And I thought he was playing, so I looked back because I was driving, and he was all curled up, so scared. And I said, ‘I still love you.’
“He went to school and said he was gonna tell people he’s gay because he’s proud of himself.”
After her son’s death, Pierce said she wants to spread awareness about the dangers of bullying and wants parents held responsible for the actions of their children.
“We should have accountability for bullying. I think the child should, because the child knows it’s wrong,” she said.
“The child wouldn’t want someone to do it to them. I think the parent should be held (accountable) because obviously the parents are either teaching them to be like that, or they’re treating them like that.”
Denver Public School officials reportedly sent a letter to parents last week telling them students at the school will be provided with a “crisis team” and additional social workers.
If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.