Warning: This article contains images that some readers may find disturbing.
Mississippi mom Cheryl Hudson said her 12-year-old son “seemed happy,” which is why she never suspected that teasing at school would lead him to take his own life.
Andrew Leach’s parents knew that their sixth grade son was getting bullied, and did what they could to try and stop it. Hudson told WREG that their family spoke to the principal and other faculty:
“I didn’t know how to handle it. His dad did talk to a teacher one time. But from what we are hearing, there was a group of kids that would go around calling him fat, ugly and worthless.”
And on March 6, the boy’s older brother found him hanged in the garage. He’d left notes for his family explaining why.Cheryl Hudson/Facebook
According to People, the 12-year-old took his life because of the relentless bullying at his school, which increased when the sixth grader admitted he was confused about his sexuality.
His father, Matt Leach, told WREG that his son recently came out as bisexual to classmates, which “amped up the bullying.”
But sadly, the parents said the bullies were just “talked to” and sent back to class by school faculty.
Hudson has since taken to Facebook to share heartbreaking images from her son’s service, including a photo of her son’s open casket — a heartbreaking reminder of what can happen if bullying goes unchecked.
She now has a stark warning for parents with children in school. The mourning mother wrote on Facebook:
If you are a Southaven parent and your child is being bullied, please speak up. We need names. Names of all the bullies because we are taking this way up the ladder. As high as we can go. We are going to put a stop to this! I can’t bear to see another family put their child to rest because of these bullies.
On Saturday, the family will hold a candlelight vigil for their lost son. The event, called “Andy’s Voice,” will also feature anti-bullying speakers, according to the Facebook page.
The family has started a GoFundMe for boy’s memorial. It has raised more than $10,000 over its original goal so far.