May 25, 2012

Horrific & Unnecessary Tragedy: A 7 Year Old Michigan Boy Ends His Life

7 year old boy ends his life after bullying
"It's just a tragedy on so many levels," Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. said Thursday, calling the situation "unfathomable."

Detroit, MI -- On Wednesday March 25 2012, a 7 year old boy was found hanging in his Detroit bedroom, his tragically short life over - a victim of suicide. The boy’s mother told authorities investigating the circumstances surrounding her son’s death, that he was depressed after his mother and father separated, and after being bullied at school.

According to Detroit Free Press staff writers, Gina Damron, Cecil Angel and Matt Helms:

Police said the family told them the boy locked himself in his room and his 14-year-old sister, peering through the keyhole in the door, saw him hanging, alerted her mother and called 911.

His mother told police that she forced her way into his room by removing the doorknob, grabbed her son and held him up “to relieve the stress of his body weight,” while a neighbor removed the belt from around his neck, according to the report.

The mother told police that her son “had been depressed due to her recent separation from his father; the fact that he had been bullied continuously by the children at school, in addition to the constant teasing that he had endured because he was the only boy in the home of eight females,” according to the report.

The child, the report says, was in counseling with his pastor.

A 7 year old boy without the tools or knowledge or experience to cope with sadness and depression, died alone in his room - without an adult to stop him, shelter him, nurture him, instill confidence in him, unconditionally love him, hold him, and guide him to reach out for help. A 7 year old boy should be enjoying being 7 years old. I don’t blame his parents, but I do collectively blame all of the adults in his life who completely failed him.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and this young boy’s village was AWOL. If he had older siblings watching him after school, where were they? Where was his teacher? His pastor? If a 7 year old is being bullied, where do the bullies learn how to bully? Why aren’t teacher’s or school personnel intervening?

We cannot fail our kids this way, or this type of incident will become more common. A lot of adults will have some explaining to do in the coming days and weeks.

Every adult in the young boy’s life let him down!

The Detroit Free Press spoke with next door neighbor Harold Pleasant, 62 - who knows the family, and spoke with the 7 year old the day before his death.

Pleasant said he wants to remember the boy riding on his bicycle up and down the block, laughing as he played with his sisters and other children. Pleasant said he struggles with the boy’s death.

“I’m going to be devastated about this if God don’t take it away from me because I can’t think of nothing else,” he said. “I don’t know how a kid that age can come to the conclusion to kill himself.
I don’t know either, but he learned it somehow. It’s so tragic that I can’t dwell on this for very long.

My heart goes out to him, and to his grieving family.

When will this madness end?

RIP little angel.

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