12-year-old killed himself after being bullied for coming out as bisexual
The family of a 12-year-old boy have said that he took his life after being subjected to bullying over his sexuality.
Andrew Leach came out as bisexual to his class and his father, Matt Leach, says that he was then bullied by classmates.
Talking to WREG, Matt explained that his son “was struggling a lot internally with sexual orientation”.
“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 father explained.
However, both of the parents did not realise how much the bullying had affected their child.
Andrew’s mother, Cheryl Hudson, explained that she was “oblivious to it”.
“He just always seemed happy.
“If you were down, he’d try to help you up,” Hudson said.
The family have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for the funeral.
So far, over $10,000 has been raised.
The page reads that Andrew “will be missed deeply by all that knew and loved him.”
“No words could come close to expressing what this family is enduring. If you can’t contribute monetarily, I ask that you pray for his mom, dad, brothers, family & friends.
“I ask that you kiss your kids and hug them a bit tighter. We never know when God may need them back,” the family added.
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Now, Andrew’s family are campaigning for bullying to be highlighted.
They are also looking into whether the school districts zero-tolerance bullying policy was enforced.
“I want them to know what they’ve done and how it affects other people,” Matt said.
The school district said in a statement that “all claims are investigated thoroughly”.
District officials said in a statement: “School counsellors are trained to help students and intervene when they are aware of a situation.
“Our hearts go out to this young student’s friends and family.”
Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.