A nine-year-old schoolboy took his own life last Thursday in Denver, Colorado, after being bullied at school for admitting he was gay.
Jamel Myles started fourth grade at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School in Denver on Monday. Four days later he was dead.
His devastated mom, Leia Pierce, decided to share her heartbreak with the media in the hope of shining light on bullying and suicide.
“He was my sunshine because he was my only son,” she said, but over the summer he came out to her as gay.
They were travelling in the car when he made the revelation. “He was like, ‘Mom, I’m gay.’
“I thought he was playing, so I looked back because I was driving,” she said, “and he was all curled up. So scared.
“I just picked him up. I said, I still love you.”
“And he goes, ‘Can I be honest with you?’ 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.’
“He went to school and said he was gonna tell people he’s gay because he’s proud of himself, ” she revealed.
“Four days is all it took at school. I could just imagine what they said to him.
“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. I’m so upset he thought that was an option.”
Denver police have confirmed they are treating Jamel’s death as a suicide.
“We should have accounting for bullying,” his mom has pleaded. “I think the child should because the child knows it’s wrong. The child wouldn’t want someone to do that to them.
“I think the parents should be held [accountable] because obviously the parents are either teaching them to be like that or they’re treating them like that.”