DENVER (AP/WSVN) — Authorities say Denver Public Schools crisis counselors met with children at an elementary school after a 9-year-old student killed himself after he was reportedly bullied for being gay, the Denver Post reports.
The Post reports that the Denver Coroner’s Office confirmed Jamel Myles died by suicide on Thursday. DPS spokesman Will Jones says Jamel was a fourth-grader at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School.
“My child died because of bullying. My baby killed himself,” Leia Pierce, the boy’s mother, told the Post on Monday.
Pierce told the newspaper that her son came out as gay this summer and began wearing fake fingernails on Aug. 20, the first day at school.
“And he goes, ‘Can I be honest with you?'” Pierce told Fox 31. “And I was like sure, and he’s like, ‘I know you buy me boy stuff because I’m a boy, but I’d rather dress like a girl.'”
Pierce says she found Jamel’s body on Thursday and tried unsuccessfully to revive her son.
“Four days is all it took at school. I could just imagine what they said to him,” Pierce told Fox 31. “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.”
School district grief counselors met Monday with students, teachers and school staff.
Pierce also wanted to use her own heartache to remind the public of the effects of bullying.
“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 because obviously the parents are either teaching them to be like that, or they’re treating them like that.”
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