A 10-year-old boy in Kentucky committed suicide in his home Saturday after enduring months of intense bullying at school over a health condition that required him to have a colostomy bag, according to WHAS-TV.
Seven Bridges underwent 26 surgeries in his life in an attempt to correct his bowel condition, and his parents say his school district, Jefferson County Public Schools, didn't do enough to stop the bullying he faced as a result.
"JCPS, you all failed my baby," Bridges' mother, Tami Charles, said Monday to WDRB-TV.
What's the story?
Seven's condition sometimes caused a smell that other kids would bully him about. In one notable instance in August, which got some media attention, Seven was allegedly called a racial slur by one student, and then choked by another student when he refused to fight back.
Seven lost consciousness and reported dizziness after the incident, and his mother took him to the hospital for a CT scan.
The school district investigated the incident, although it did not publicize any disciplinary action that was taken. A spokesperson for JCPS said "matters were addressed."
Seven was set to transfer to a new school next year to give him a fresh start and freedom from the bullying.
"We kept telling him this will all be over," Charles said.
Saturday morning, Charles came home from the grocery story and found Seven in the closet. He had hanged himself.
"For the few minutes that we left, he didn't want us to see that," said his father, who was at church choir practice at the time, according to WHAS.
Why are they suing?
Charles said that students and teachers began treating Seven differently after she pressured the school district over the August bullying incident.
"Because I was so aggressive in advocating for him, they started to act differently toward him," Charles told WDRB.
Charles blames both the bullies, and a failure by the school system, for her son's death.
"It wasn't that JCPS didn't have these tools, they just weren't at our school," Charles said. "It wasn't that they didn't have these tools to help the victims of bullying, they just weren't there, they weren't used."
Seven's family is seeking donations to help cover funeral expenses, since insurance won't cover them due to the nature of his death, WHAS reported. The wake is scheduled for Feb. 1, and the funeral will be the following day.
(H/T New York Post)