A 12-year-old Mississippi boy has taken his own life after years of reported relentless bullying by his peers, according to both his parents and a note he left behind before he hanged himself.
CBS Memphis reports that 12-year-old Andrew Leach took his own life on March 6 after he became the victim of bullying at Southaven Middle School, a school where bullying is a common thing, according to the child’s mother, Cheryl.
“A few years ago there was a young girl who hung herself from a water tower due to bullying,” Cheryl told the local station. “There have been several attempts since then with other kids.”
Mother of 12-year-old Southaven Middle School student Andrew Leach tells me her son killed himself last week over continuous bullying. She says he left a note for his family and then hung himself.
— Nina Harrelson 🎥 (@NinaHarrelsonTV) March 11, 2018
Andrew’s older brother, 16, found his younger sibling’s lifeless body inside the garage of the family’s Southaven home. Andrew left behind a suicide note explaining that he couldn’t stop the bullies from harassing him. Cheryl said her son was called names such as “fat” and “worthless” regularly.
“From what we are hearing, there was a group of kids that would go around calling him fat, ugly and worthless,” Cheryl said, according to The Epoch Times.
The grieving mom said she approached the school’s 6th grade principal about her son’s bullies, and the boy’s father spoke to a teacher at least once about it. Yet, Cheryl said she was “oblivious” to her son’s suicidal thoughts, as he always smiling at home and cheering others up.
“I guess I was just oblivious to it. He just always seemed happy.”
Andrew’s father, Matthew, however, said he learned his son was struggling with his sexuality, according to KMOV. When he told one of the children at school that he may be bisexual, the bullying reached a new level, something the boy’s parents were never told about until it was too late.
“He was struggling a lot internally with sexual orientation,” Matthew Leach explained. “I think when he finally came out with the information at school that he thought he may be bisexual….I think that really amped up the bullying.”
The Leach family now hopes that their son’s death will serve as a lesson. They want others to stop and think about other people and how their actions can cause serious consequences.
“I want them to know what they’s done and how it affects other people,” Cheryl said.
[Feature Photo: Andrew Leach/Family Handout]