A US mother says her 9-year-old boy killed himself after being bullied by classmates about being gay.
The Denver Coroner’s Office confirmed that Jamel Myles died on Thursday.
“My child died because of bullying. My baby killed himself,” Myles’ mother, Leia Pierce, told The Denver Post.
“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 came out this year and began wearing fake fingernails on August 20, the first day at school.
He endured four days of bullying before dying.
It’s always tough when a little one takes his life,” DPS spokesman Will Jones said. “We have our crisis team there.”
School district grief counsellors were meeting with students, teachers, school staff and anyone who was hurting, he said.
Teachers planned to call parents of other fourth and fifth graders after school on Monday to speak with them about what happened, he added.
School Principal Christine Fleming sent letters to families of Shoemaker elementary students about the tragedy, Jones said.
“Fourth and fifth grade teachers at Shoemaker are creating a space for students to share how they are feeling and to process their emotions after hearing this news,” Jones said.
“Teachers are also letting students know about the DPS crisis team members on-hand to meet their social-emotional needs.”
Grief counsellors were aware of the potential effects the news of Jamel’s death may have on the overall well-being of the Shoemaker students and staff, he said.
Pierce’s oldest daughter told her that other children had told her son to kill himself. She never heard about the taunting until after she found her son’s body. She tried unsuccessfully to revive her son.
Jamel was curled up in the back seat of the family car when he told his mother he was gay, she said.
“He was scared because he is a boy and its harder on boys when they come out,” Pierce said. “I smiled at him and said, ‘I still loved him.’ This world is missing out.”
Jamel loved Pokeman cards, robots, music and wearing a dress with a tiara and high-heeled shoes.
“I’m dead inside. He was beautiful. He was magic. I lost my greatest gift,” she said.
Pierce said her son was so considerate that he would separate the yolks to make egg whites because she is allergic to egg yolk.
“He said, ‘Mom, I want to be a famous YouTube star so I could buy you a new house,'” Pierce said. “He was the kindest soul.”