The mother of a 9-year-old Denver boy who committed suicide last week after being bullied went on Facebook to ask people to help stop bullying. She had recently learned her son was gay. Jamel Myles passed away after being taken to the hospital, according to a report from the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner.
In her public Facebook post, Leia Pierce wrote, “Please we are all the different and thats what makes us the same because we all have 1 thing in common we’re all different thats what makes this world beautiful .. i want justice for my son and every kid who is bullied.. i want bullying to end i never want to hear someone else go thru this pain.”
Myles came out to his mother as gay over the summer. “And he looked so scared when he told me. He was like, ‘Mom I’m gay.’ 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,” Pierce said, according to KDVR.
Pierce said Myles wanted to tell his classmates. He was a fourth grade student at Joe Shoemaker School. Classes started Aug. 20, KDVR reported. Pierce also wrote in a post: “My son died because of being bullied please tell ur kids to love everyone we all need to love each other.” Shoemaker Principal Christine Fleming sent a letter to parents Friday about Myles’ death.
It is extreme sadness
“It is with extreme sadness we share with you that one of our fourth-grade students, passed away yesterday. This is an unexpected loss for our school community,” the letter said. The letter also says Shoemaker staff had not informed students, “We are leaving the decision on how this is communicated to your child to your discretion as you know your child best.”
“Our thoughts are with the student’s family at this time. We will continue to process this sad news as a school community,” the letter says. A spokesperson specifically says all members of the “school community are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or transgender status.”
“It is critical that our students receive all the supports they need to learn and thrive in a safe and welcoming environment. Our formal policies and practices reflect this commitment to ensuring that our LGBTQ+ students can pursue their education with dignity – from policies and training to prevent and stop bullying to formal policies and guidance materials that fully respect gender identity (including use of preferred pronouns and restrooms).
“Our priority right now is to help all students and adults with the grief they are experiencing and to better understand all the facts surrounding this tragic loss. “I lost a reason to breathe… my heart, my sunshine, my son… he was being bullied and i didnt know. Not till it was to late.. i wish i knew everything so i could’ve stopped this,” Pierce wrote in a Facebook post.
Resources for suicide prevention
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones and best practices for professionals.
The Trevor Project 1-866-488-7386
The Trevor Project is a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project hotline is available 24/7.
Safe2Tell provides young people a way to report any threatening behaviors or activities endangering themselves or someone they know, in a way that keeps them safe and anonymous. By calling or submitting a tip through Safe2Tell’s website, young people can help anyone who’s in trouble or prevent a tragedy.
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