The body of 9-year-old Jamel Myles was found inside his family’s home in Denver on Thursday
Weeks before school started Myles told his mother he was gay
Myles was proud to be gay and told his mother he was going to tell the other kids at school
Myles began 4th grade just four days before his death
It was reported that Myles told his sister that kids in school were telling him to kill himself
On Thursday, Leia Pierce found her 9-year-old son Jamel Myles in their Denver, Colorado home dead from an apparent suicide following his first days back at school.
Weeks before the start of school, Myles told Pierce that he was gay. In an interview with WTOL Pierce said Myles told her while they were in the car. After Myles told her, Pierce initially thought he was joking. Until she looked at him and noticed he was “curled up” and “so scared.”
He looked so scared when he told me. He was like, ‘Mom, I’m gay.’ And I thought he was playing, so I looked back at him because I was driving, and he was all curled up, so scared. And I said, ‘I still love you.’
With the support of his mother, Myles felt proud to be gay! So proud that Myles told Pierce that he wanted to tell the other kids at school. It was only four days after school started that Pierce found Myles dead.
Pierce believes the young child killed himself because of homophobic bullying that occurred in the four days he was at school. Myles told his sister that kids at school were telling him to kill himself.
Four days is all it took at school. I could just imagine what they said to him. My son told my oldest daughter the kids at school told him to kill himself. I’m just sad he didn’t come to me.
Myles was attending fourth grade at Joe Shoemaker School in Denver. Denver Public Schools sent out a letter stating they are providing extra social workers and members of their crisis team to for students to work with if needed. Pierce hopes that Myles’ death will bring attention to the damaging results bullying can have on a child.
If you or someone you love is struggling with suicide you can contact the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Test Line by texting HOME to 741741.