The family of bullied 12-year-old Andrew Michael Leach, who committed suicide last Tuesday, have posted a photo of their son in his open casket in the hope it would encourage bullies to understand the effect it has on their victims.
“I’m heartbroken, I’m heartbroken,” his mother said, adding that she and her ex-husband “are not going to stop with the anti-bullying. We are going to make sure that Andy’s voice is heard and his death is not in vain”
Andrew left a couple of suicide notes saying he took his own life after the bullying at his Mississippi middle school became unbearable.
‘I want them to know what they’ve done and how it affects other people,’ he wrote in one of the notes.
The boy’s father Matt Leach told WREG that the bullying intensified after his son came out as bisexual.
‘He was struggling a lot internally with sexual orientation,’ he said. ‘He finally came out with the information at school that he thought he may be bisexual. I think that really amped up the bullying.’
via Daily Mail:
[His mother] Cheryl said she went into his school to speak with teachers but said she didn’t feel like the school did much about it.
‘The school that he went to has got an abundance of bullying. The kids can’t even go to the bathroom without fear,’ she added.
The parents are demanding to know if the school district’s zero-tolerance bullying policy was enforced.
‘From what we are hearing, there was a group of kids that would go around calling him fat, ugly and worthless,’ the grieving mother said.
Asked if she’d ever approached school administrators about the bullying issue, Hudson told the station: ‘I only spoke with the school’s 6th grade principal. I didn’t know how to handle it. His dad did talk to a teacher one time.’
Andy’s mother described him as ‘a sweet natured, fun loving kid who was easily a Momma’s boy.’
‘He was only 12 when he took his own life. I, as a mother, am absolutely crushed. I say I’ve cried all I can cry, but then moments later, I break down again.
‘I don’t think I’ll ever get over this.’
The alleged bullies are being investigated by police.
A GoFundMe campaign set up in Andrew’s memory had raised more than $11,400.
(Photos via Facebook)