Andrew Leach, a 12-year-old Mississippi boy who committed suicide after being bullied, was remembered as a “very loving boy” whose smile was contagious. His parents have now launched an anti-bullying campaign.
Andrew is one of a series of American youths who took their own lives after bullying, some of it exacerbated by social media. Andrew Leach attended Southaven Middle School in Southaven, Mississippi. Some of the bullying that Andrew – called Andy – received was due to his sexual orientation, his father told WREG-TV.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Andrew Leach Was Bullied in School After Revealing He Might Be Bisexual, His Father Says
Mother of 12-year-old Southaven Middle School student Andrew Leach tells me her son killed himself last week over continuous bullying. She says he left a note for his family and then hung himself.
Now, she wants to start an anti-bullying organization in his honor. @3onyourside pic.twitter.com/JobLz77isj
— Nina Harrelson 🎥 (@NinaHarrelsonTV) March 11, 2018
Tragically, the bullying escalated against Andy Leach after he told classmates that he might be bisexual, his father told WREG in an interview. Andy was teased and called names, his parents say.
His mother says he was called “fat, ugly, and worthless” by other kids.
“He was struggling a lot internally with sexual orientation,” Matt Leach told the television station. “He finally came out with the information at school that he thought he may be bisexual. I think that really amped up the bullying.”
The father described the bullying, saying, “Kids were telling him, ‘We’re gonna put hands on you. You’re not going to make it out of this bathroom.’ Things of that nature.”
Andy’s mother Cheryl remembered the child as her “diamond.”
“Another story… went out for a little while one night to a movie. When I got home, he was asleep on my bed. He had his suitcase packed and it was sitting in my closet. I asked him why, and he said ‘I’m moving into your room with you Mommy!’ This child was my light. My sunshine. My diamond. 💔💔💔” she wrote in a heart-wrenching post on Facebook.
2. Andy Was Remembered as a Fun & Loving Little Boy
LOCAL IN MISSISSIPPI: A mom and dad are speaking out against bullying just days after they say their son committed suicide. 12-year-old Andy Leach’s parents say he was bullied for months by classmates at Southaven Middle School where he was a 6th grader. https://t.co/Xzkl3Mht8Q pic.twitter.com/rIFfWSfslv
— Kim Chaney (@local24kim) March 13, 2018
A GoFundMe campaign to help Andy’s family has raised more than $10,000. The page says “our hearts are saddened as Andy has went to be with the Lord this evening. Andy was a fun loving, outgoing 12 year old little boy.”
The statement on the GoFundMe page adds that Andrew “will be missed deeply by all that knew and loved him. No words could come close to expressing what this family is enduring. I hope to raise funds to …read more