Andrew Michael Leach a Mississippi sixth grade boy commits suicide after constant bullying following coming out as bisexual claims the boy’s family.
Andrew Michael Leach, a sixth-grader at Southaven Middle School hanged himself in the family’s garage on March 6 after he was tormented by classmates for talking about his sexual orientation, according to his father, Matt Leach.
‘He was struggling a lot internally with sexual orientation,’ the father told WREG. ‘He finally came out with the information at school that he thought he may be bisexual. I think that really amped up the bullying.’
‘He was a very loving young boy. He had a contagious smile,’ Leach’s mother, Cheryl Hudson reiterated. ‘He was outdoorsy. He loved to go camping. If you were down, he’d try to help you up.’
Following her son’s suicide death, Hudson conceded missing the apparent pain her son had been experienced at school.
‘I guess I was just oblivious to it,’ Hudson said. ‘He just always seemed happy.’
Hudson said her son left a note before taking his own life. His 16-year-old brother later found the sixth grader’s body.
The note addressed to the family told of Andrew having been apparently subjected to bullying at school for ‘many years’.
The boy’s family said the bullying escalated when classmates started threatening to harm Andrew, telling him he wouldn’t ‘make it out’ of a school bathroom where he was being intimidated.
‘I want them to know what they’ve done and how it affects other people,’ Andrew’s father said.
Andrew Michael Leach suicide death: A culture of rampant bullying at school.
Of disconcert, Andrew’s mother claims bullying running rampant at Southaven Middle School.
‘A few years ago there was a young girl who hung herself from a water tower due to bullying,’ Cheryl Hudson said. ‘There have been several attempts since then with other kids.’
Reiterated the mother, ‘But from what we are hearing, there was a group of kids that would go around calling him fat, ugly and worthless’.
Following their son’s suicide death, Hudson and Leach questioned whether the school district’s zero-tolerance policy for bullying was being enforced. School officials, meanwhile, said all bullying allegations are treated with ‘utmost importance,’ while not necessarily indicating whether the alleged bullying against Andrew Leach was reported.
‘All claims are investigated thoroughly, and school counselors are trained to help students and intervene when they are aware of a situation,’ district officials told via WREG. ‘Our hearts go out to this young student’s friends and family.’
The boy’s family are now warning other parents to look for any changes in their children’s school work, eating habits or sleep patterns.
‘Then get in their business,’ he said. ‘Talk to them.’
Andrew’s suicide death follows statistics which show between one quarter and one third of US students say they have been victims of bullying.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for Americans ages 10 to 14, and the second leading cause among those 15 to 24.
A GoFundme page for Andrew has to date raised $11, 358 circa Tuesday afternoon, EST.