A 9-year-old boy Colorado boy committed suicide after coming out as gay just four days after the start of school. Lela Pierce says her son Jamel Myles came out to her over the summer.
"He looked so scared when he told me. He was like, ‘Mom I’m gay,'" Pierce told KDVR-TV. "And I thought he was playing, so I looked back because I was driving, and he was all curled up, so scared. And I said, ‘I still love you.'"
She said Jamel also told her he wanted to dress in feminine clothing.
"And he goes, 'Can I be honest with you?'" Pierce said. "And I was like sure, and he’s like, 'I know you buy me boy stuff because I’m a boy, but I’d rather dress like a girl.'"
Pierce said Jamel wanted his classmates at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School to know he was gay.
Jamel's body was found in their Denver home last Thursday, according to KDVR-TV. Pierce believes bullying drove her son to kill himself.
“Four days is all it took at school,” Pierce said. “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. I’m so upset that he thought that was his option.”
The grieving mother believes the students' parents should be held accountable for their bullying behavior.
“We should have accountability for bullying. I think the child should because the child knows it’s wrong. The child wouldn’t want someone to do it to them,” she said. "[O]bviously the parents are either teaching them to be like that, or they’re treating them like that,” she said.
The Denver Public School System sent a note home to parents to advise them that social workers and a crisis team are available at the school to counsel the students.