A mother is raising awareness about the devastating impact of bullying after her 13-year-old son decided to take his own life.
The Washington state mother, who found her son before it was too late, told KCPQ that classmates of the boy relentlessly bullied him in school.
The student, who has not been identified, would try to avoid being picked on by arriving late to class.
But the harassment reached a tipping point in mid-June when bullies wrote curse words in the boy’s yearbook and told him multiple times that he should commit suicide.
After the incident, the 7th-grader left the school intending to kill himself.
The boy reportedly phoned his mother about his plan, although he ultimately did not go through with it. The mother later found her son walking along a road near a river.
“That was the worst phone call of my life,” she told the television station.
A lawyer for the mother shared an email with KCPQ as evidence that school officials knew of the bullying before the hateful writings appeared in the boy’s yearbook.
The family now is considering a lawsuit against the district.
“We hope that by bringing a lawsuit, the district finally understands their legal duties to provide a safe learning environment for kids,” attorney Yvonne Ward said.
In a letter to parents, district Superintendent Janel Keating-Hambly said bullying is an issue affecting schools across the country and warned that the district faces overwhelming challenges in preventing youth suicide.
Still, Keating-Hambly said the district was taking measures to address the problem locally.
“Our immediate concern is for the safety and well-being of the student involved, and school administration has been working closely with the student and their family from the beginning,” Keating-Hambly wrote.
School administrators and police are investigating the incident, and the district has said it intends to educate students about the effects and consequences of bullying next year, according to the television station.