An Ohio father is grieving over his 13-year-old son who was found dead January 11 after enduring over a year of taunting and ridicule about his clothes and family finances.

Aaron Fuller’s father, Steve Fuller, told the Toledo Blade that his son quit fighting against bullies who relentlessly picked on the teen.

He said Aaron was so embarrassed by the way he dressed he was willing to wear a pair of old beat up Nikes just to ward off the taunts and mockery.

Before his death, Steve said kids often made fun of his clothes from bargain stores. Aaron was willing to wear a holey pair of name brand sneakers instead of a new pair from Walmart to keep his tormentors at bay.

Aaron Fuller GofundMe

But the harassment wouldn’t stop, according to Aaron’s family.

One time when he forgot his lunch, kids at school told him his parents didn’t love him enough to feed him. He was so disturbed by the teasing he responded by taking $135 that his dad had given him for a school trip and used the money to open a lunch account at Lake Middle School.

Aaron’s uncle Joshua Tooley told the Sentinel-Tribune:

“He was picked on and picked on and picked on, and Friday night was the last night he was going to be picked on.”

Sadly, when the bullying spread to social media his family believes he took his life after he was told to kill himself.

His family returned home to find that Aaron had hanged himself with a belt in his bedroom. His stepmother, Tami Fuller, tried to revive the boy through CPR to no avail. His dad said:

“Every night when I go upstairs, his room is right across from ours, and I look in there and I still can’t believe it, I still say goodnight to him and tell him that I love him.

I can’t say it hasn’t sunk in that he’s gone, but I don’t want to believe it. I just can’t believe it right now.”

Steve reported the incident to school officials since he believes Aaron buckled under the pressure of abuse after it crossed over onto social media. Last September he tried to take his own life by drinking a bottle of rum.

The school is investigating the incident but will make no further comments regarding the child’s death due to an ongoing police investigation.

Aaron’s family hopes his story will bring awareness to bullying prevention.

So much talent. I gave you a ton of art supplies and when you we seen each other again you were so eager to show me what…

Posted by Joshua Tooley on Saturday, January 12, 2019

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

A GoFundMe account was set up to pay for his funeral expenses.

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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17 Replies to “Grieving Dad Blames Bullies for His 13-Year-Old’s Suicide. The Constant Taunting Pushed Him Over the Edge”

  • Jen 2 years ago

    I don’t understand why they didn’t homeschool him or take some other drastic measures to protect him. It sounded like it was constant bullying and it should have been addressed with the principals, the teachers, the other parents. If this was my kid there would be no way in hell that my kid would be treated like this. Also, how do you have a hundred and something dollars for a school trip but not proper shoes for the kid. The Nike outlets sell Nikes for $20 these days. Yes, kids can be evil and they will can do a lot to torment kids these days but we, as parents, also have to be a support to our children and make sure that we teach them how to deal with it and how to protect themselves.

    • Hector Jr 2 years ago

      The threads would not have made a difference. Once you are a target you will always be a target. Once you don’t lash out back with quick wit the bullies will always know they can go after you for something. I know this from experience. Nike shoes would not have changed that. His being able to buy lunch did not change that. I’ll bet he was a nice quiet kid.

      • Anonymous 2 years ago

        My daughter was picked on on the bus. When I talked with the bus driver, whom I did not blame, he said that my daughter was quiet on the bus. She would just sit with a book and read all the way home. Unfortunately, some kids are just targets. The parents of the bullied are not to blame. The bullies are to blame. It is the responsibility of parents, teacher and other adults to teach kids what is right.

    • Ginger 2 years ago

      I agree with you Jen. I am a firm believer in school choice, and recommend that any parent of a child being bullied should not allow that child to remain in a hateful, dysfunctional school that fails to protect vulnerable children. Also, I recommend that parents seek counseling for their children if they are concerned about them being depressed.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      Maybe both parents had to work to support their family so they couldn’t homeschool. He had new shoes but they were from Walmart and sounds like he got teased about them. Schools don’t always react the right way to bullying. Kids are brutal these days. It is such a sad epidemic in our country. How do you teach your kids to deal with bullying day after day after day. I don’t think you can. They are no different than an abuser telling his wife she is the problem. You start to believe it. My heart aches for this family.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      Really? This isn’t about parents buying $20 Nike shoes at the outlet or school trip money. “Kids” are fucking cruel; it’s their parents who, more than Aaron’s, need to step up and parent their children to be good people.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      You have no right to judge.

  • Danny 2 years ago

    What I dont understand is that people you do not realize that Teachers and Principals are so burnt out from the bureaucracy that they really do not want to deal with one child being Bullied.
    Sadly, many lives are ruined for ever. Not just the ones that have died, but everyone around them.
    There is ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY related to the school and the ignorance of the Bullies Parents who taught their children to be a disease in our society

  • National Jester 2 years ago

    If the bullies, their parents, the teachers and principals were named in every story like this, then perhaps things would change. And a lawsuit filed against all of them would be a step in the right direction. I was bullied for years, with teachers cheering them on in some cases. Thankfully I didn’t take my life or become a mass-murderer, however, I know that the damage from this kind of long-term trauma is seldom completely healed. I really feel sorry for his parents.

  • Linda 2 years ago

    Jen not everyone can home school.if parents can’t afford things its probably both are working and not making a lot. The son may have been too embarrassed to tell the parents or afraid of more reprisal. It happened to my daughter in the 80s and I didn’t know about it for a long time. Had no clue since she didn’t share. I was a single working mother just making enough for rent and keeping gas in the car to get work. So don’t blame the parents.

  • Michael Bankston 2 years ago

    Someone telling another person to kill him/herself sounds like murder. Parents need to monitor their kids’ activities on social media.

  • Hector Jr 2 years ago

    Parents raise these little mean antagonist. I say it’s time to hit them in the pocket book when the result is suicide. After a few big law suit awards, let us see how many more families continue to raise these mean brats.

  • Kristi Harris Smith 2 years ago

    Suicide due to bullying is the most tragic and senseless loss of life in this country today. While we are forced to be accepting and tolerant of things which go against our moral fiber and nature itself, our children are not taught to be accepting of others and their life circumstances. They will find someone who is different in any way and gang up to terrorize them for things they do not control, their parents finances, quality of their home, vehicles, clothing, color of their skin or hair or any physical or mental difference or disability that they can make sport of. They dont realize that society itself has already given these children feelings of inferiority and despair for these very things albeit subtly or unintentional it is a fact. Combined with the constant harrassment of their peers they can no longer learn or participate in activities as their thoughts are constantly on how to change things or how to fit in so the abuse will stop. They are denied the chance to be healthy, happy or emotionally stable. And parents, even the most well meaning and good people, neglect to teach their children to be kind and understanding to all, that every child/person has a right to live without torment for any reason, to be accepted as they are and if not befriended at the very least not harrassed and bullied.
    Suicides because of bullying are becoming an epidemic and the ages of those ending their own lives are younger and younger all the time. This has got to be stopped, parents need to step up and take responsibility for their children who are bullies and stop it. And the best way to stop it is to start teaching them from birth and by example to be good, kind and caring people, to never judge others for their differences rather to accept that everyone lives differently and are still deserving of the right to live freely and in peace. This is something many adults still need to learn as well!

    • Lona Garrison 2 years ago

      In a perfect world, Kristi, parents would step up to the plate and take responsibility for their children. Unfortunately, the real epidemic in our society is the number of parents who do NOT take that responsibility. I taught middle school students for 32 years, and over that period of time, I saw a slow, steady decline in parents accepting responsibility for their children’s behavior until we are in the state we are. IMHO, the lack of parental responsibility is the number 1 cause of many of society’s problems. You hit the nail right on the head.

  • Traci jackson 2 years ago

    I told my grandkids not to bully anyone. But the parents of these kids need to be held tired of kids killing theirselves over bullying now the time to stand up for yourself and start fighting back. This is ridiculous enough is enough

  • C H 2 years ago

    Keep kids OFF social media!! How many times does it take! They will be ok if you say no to it! It’s unnecessary. Ugh. They are hurting so much:(

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    Why did they not take him out of that school . I don’t understand

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