Jamel Myles started 4th grade at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School in Denver on Monday. By Thursday, he had taken his own life.
FOX Denver reports that Jamel’s mother, Leia Pierce, blames bullying on her son’s untimely death. The 9-year-old “came out as gay” over the summer to his Pierce, and told her didn’t want to hide who he was from his classmates.
“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.
BULLIED TO DEATH: "He went to school and said he was gonna tell people he's gay because he's proud of himself," Jamel Myles' mother said. Four days later, the 9-year-old boy was found dead. https://t.co/3Ea5UD4ShD pic.twitter.com/00X9dOKDIl
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) August 27, 2018
Although Pierce was accepting of her son, she said kids at school weren’t as receptive.
“He went to school and said he was gonna tell people he’s gay because he’s proud of himself.”
Four days later, Pierce found her little boy’s lifeless body inside their home. Although it remains unclear how Jamel took his own life, the Denver Coroner’s Office confirmed his official cause of death as suicide.
“Four days is all it took at school. I could just imagine what they said to him,” Pierce said, according to ABC. “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.”
Pierce is now on a mission to spread awareness and push for accountability. The grieving mother said the parents of the children who bully others should be held responsible for this kids’ words and actions.
“We should have accountability for bullying. I think the child should. Because the child knows it’s wrong. 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.”
Jamel enjoyed listening to music, collecting Pokemon cards, and robots. He also enjoyed applying fake fingernails and wearing a tiara, dress, and high-heeled shoes, according to Pierce. She referred to her son as a “considerate child” who wanted one day to become a social media star on YouTube.
Pierce indicated that Giorgio’s NY Pizza in Denver was Jamel’s favorite place to eat. Now, however, she grieves when she sees the restaurant.
“My child died because of bullying. My baby killed himself,” Pierce told The Denver Post on Monday. “He didn’t deserve this. He wanted to make everybody happy even when he wasn’t. I want him back so bad.”
[Feature Photo: Jamel Myles and Leia Pierce/Facebook]