A 9-year-old Colorado boy took his life after classmates bullied him for coming out as gay.
Jamel Myles came out to his mother this summer, and then told his classmates after starting fourth grade Monday at Denver’s Joe Shoemaker Elementary School, reported KDVR-TV.
“He looked so scared when he told me,” said his mother, Leia Pierce. “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.'”
The boy told classmates when school began, and he told his mother that he wanted to dress more feminine.
“He went to school and said he was gonna tell people he’s gay because he’s proud of himself,” Pierce said. “He goes, ‘Can I be honest with you?'” 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.'”
Pierce found her son dead at their home Thursday, four days into the school year, and she said bullying was a factor.
“Four days is all it took at school,” she said. “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 that he thought that was his option,” Pierce added.
Pierce said the bullies’ parents should be held accountable for teaching their children to hate LGBT people.
“We should have accountability for bullying,” she said. “I think the child should, because the child knows it’s wrong. The child wouldn’t want someone to do it to them. I think the parent should be held because obviously the parents are either teaching them to be like that, or they’re treating them like that.”