The family of a 6th-grader in Mississippi confirmed this week that he committed suicide on March 6 over what was termed continuous bullying.
Cheryl Hudson, the mother of 12-year-old Andrew Leach, told WREG that Leach was found by his 16-year-old brother.
Leach left a note for his family before hanging himself.
Hudson told the outlet that bullying at Southaven Middle School has developed into a serious problem and resulted in at least one other death in recent years, a girl who hung herself from a water tower, as well as several suicide attempts by other children.
“From what we are hearing, there was a group of kids that would go around calling him fat, ugly and worthless,” she said.
Hudson added in a photo caption, “My heart has been ripped out of my chest and shattered in a million pieces.”
Law enforcement officials are investigating the case.
Mississippi 6th grader commits suicide over bullying https://t.co/nMbs84FSk7
— Clarion Ledger (@clarionledger) March 12, 2018
A GoFundMe was launched by a family friend to raise money for the family of Leach.
“Our hearts are saddened as Andy has went [sic] to be with the Lord this evening. Andy was a fun loving, outgoing 12-year-old little boy. He will be missed deeply by all that knew and loved him. No words could come close to expressing what this family is enduring. I hope to raise funds to help with his final expenses. All money will go for arrangements and to help his family in the days ahead,” wrote Tiffany Allison.
“If you can’t contribute monetarily I ask that you pray for his mom, dad, brothers, family, and friends. I ask that you kiss your kids and hug them a bit tighter. We never know when God may need them back. Please feel free to share the campaign and Thank You all for the love and support as we struggle to find peace in the days ahead. God Bless.”
According to the government, between 25 percent and 33 percent of students in the United States say they’ve been bullied at school.
“Most bullying happens in middle school. The most common types are verbal and social bullying,” the Stop Bullying website stated. “There is growing awareness of the problem of bullying, which may lead some to believe that bullying is increasing. However, studies suggest that rates of bullying may be declining. It still remains a prevalent and serious problem in today’s schools.”