Mom says 9-year-old son killed himself after being bullied
Colorado boy kills himself days after coming out of the closet
DENVER, Co. – A Colorado boy took his own life in the first week of school, and his mom says bullying is to blame.
The 9-year-old committed suicide just days after telling classmates he was gay.
The boy's favorite pizzeria was special for Leia Pierce, the boy's mother, and the family but now, they're visiting it with a hole in their hearts.
"He was my sunshine because he was my only son," said Pierce.
The boy, Jamel Myles, started fourth grade at Joe Shoemaker school on Monday weeks before he had the courage to tell his mom this.
"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,'" said Pierce. "He went to school and said he was gonna tell people he's gay because he's proud of himself."
But on Thursday, Pierce found her son dead in their Denver home. She says he killed himself after being bullied.
"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."
A letter from Denver public schools to families Friday says they're providing extra social workers and their crisis team for students.
In a statement, the district says it will continue to offer support to the family.
"I'm so upset that he thought that was his option," said Pierce.
Through this devastation, Pierce wants to spread awareness about the effects of bullying.
"We should have accountability for bullying. The child knows it's wrong. The child wouldn't want someone to do it to them," said Pierce. "I think the parent should be held (accountable) because obviously the parents are either teaching them to be like that, or they're treating them like that."
Pierce said she hopes no parent ever has to go through this pain because their child is different from everyone else.