A 9-year-old boy from Denver, Colorado committed suicide after being bullied at school when he came out as gay, according to his mother.
Jamel Myles died on Thursday (23 August) after starting fourth grade just four days before.
Leia Pierce, Myles’ mother, told local news station Fox 31 ‘four days is all it took at school’. He attended Joe Shoemaker Elementary School before Pierce found him dead in their home.
Police are investigating.
Pierce further said Myles came out to her this past summer.
‘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.’
He also told her he wanted to dress like a girl.
Myles reportedly wanted to tell his classmates he was gay because he was proud. ‘I could just imagine what they said to him,’ his mom added.
Now Pierce wants to spread more information about bullying and its tragic effects.
‘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,’ she said. ‘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.’
Crisis counselors also met with students at the school after Myles’ death.