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Nine-year-old boy ‘killed himself after homophobic bullying’, mum says

Elementary school student Jamel Myles took his own life just a week after coming out to his mother.

By Will Stroude

A nine-year-old boy killed himself after suffering bullying from classmates because he was gay, his mother has said.

Leia Pierce told the Denver Post that she discovered the body of her son Jamel Myles at home last Thursday (August 23), just a week after he confided in her that was gay.

Jamel, who had begun the fourth grader at Joe Shoemaker Elementary in Denver, Colorado, wanted to tell his classmates because he was “proud” to be gay, his mother said.

She added that he had told his older sister that his classmates had “told him to kill himself”.

Photo: Facebook

“My child died because of bullying. My baby killed himself. He didn’t deserve this. He wanted to make everybody happy even when he wasn’t”, Ms. Pierce said.

“I want him back so bad.”

The Denver Coroner’s Office confirmed Jamel’s cause of death as suicide, it has been reported.

“I’m just sad he didn’t come to me. I’m so upset that he thought that was his option,” Ms. Pierce said.

She continued: “He was scared because he is a boy and it’s harder on boys when they come out. I smiled at him and said: ‘I still loved him.’ This world is missing out.

“I’m dead inside. He was beautiful. He was magic. I lost my greatest gift.

Ms. Pierce added: “He was the kindest soul.”

A Denver Public Schools (DPS) spokesperson told the BBC that teachers at Joe Shoemaker Elementary “are creating a space for students to share how they are feeling and to process their emotions”.

“Teachers are also letting students know about the DPS crisis team members on hand to meet their social-emotional needs,” he added.

If you’re affected by any of the issues raised in this story contact the Samaritans on 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (Republic of Ireland).