Another young boy has lost his life due to bullying and the complexity that comes with finding one’s own identity. 12-year-old Andrew Leach from South Haven, Mississippi was discovered lifeless last week. He was found hung in an outdoor garage.
Andrew’s parents Matt Leach and Cheryl Hudson knew their son was struggling with his identity and had been confronted numerous times at school because of it. According to WREG Memphis, Andrew’s parents didn’t suspect he was suicidal because as Hudson explains “I guess I was just oblivious to it. He just always seemed happy.”
Andrew’s school trouble began when he started to embrace his identity.
Matt Leach told WREG Memphis:
He was struggling a lot internally with sexual orientation. He finally came out with the information at school that he thought he may be bisexual. I think that really amped up the bullying.
After Andrew’s untimely death, his parents discovered letters that described the pain he was living with. Kids at school were threatening him by expressing that he wouldn’t be able to escape the bathroom.
Now, his parents want the kids at school to know the harm that they have caused and the effects of their actions on the lives of so many.
Leach and Hudson also want this to be a call to all parents to notice their own children’s actions and watch for signs of suicidal tendencies. Leach said:
If you think there's any chance of your child suffering from depression, their grades are drastically changing, their eating habits or sleeping habits changed, then get in their business. Talk to them.
The loss of any life is never easy, and more when it deals with youth who felt like they never stood a chance in this world.
If you or anyone you know may be having suicidal thoughts, contact the
National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255