A 10-year-old Kentucky boy allegedly died by suicide after being constantly bullied over his colostomy bag
A 10-year-old Kentucky boy allegedly died by suicide after being constantly bullied over his colostomy bag.
Tami Charles came home from a quick trip to the grocery store on Saturday morning to find her son Seven Bridges had died by suicide, WHAS11 reported.
“I saw my son dead. That’s something in my head,” Charles told the news station.
Charles’ husband Donnie Bridges was also away from home at a church choir practice.
“For the few minutes that we left, he didn’t want us to see that,” Bridges told WHAS11 of his son’s death.
Throughout his short life, Seven was faced with a number of challenges.
After he was born, Seven underwent several surgeries that included the insertion of a colostomy bag. When he grew older, it was removed but he continued to have difficulties when waste would leak, the outlet reported.
Children at Kerrick Elementary allegedly taunted Seven due to the smell that came from his bowel condition.
“Twenty-six surgeries from the day my son was born. Twenty-six surgeries. He just wanted to be normal, that’s all,” Seven’s mother explained to WHAS11.
The situation came to a head in August when Seven was allegedly choked and called a racial slur while riding the school bus, WDRB.com reported.
“He couldn’t fight back,” Bridges told the outlet. “He didn’t know how to hurt you. He had no malice, none.”
Charles brought the incident to the school’s administrators, prompting them to open an investigation.
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Unfortunately, Charles’ decision to stand up for her son only made things worse for Seven.
“Because I was so aggressive in advocating for him, they started to act differently toward him,” Charles told WDRB.com of students and faculty members.
Nearly a month before Seven would allegedly take his own life, his parents found him hysterically crying in his bed.
He told them that he wanted to “let the past be the past,” but his friends only ostracized him further.
“We cried that night,” Charles told the outlet.
Despite his circumstances, Charles never would have imagined her son would die by suicide.
Seven was gearing up to start the 6th grade at W.E.B. DuBois Academy next year.
“We kept telling him this will all be over,” Charles told WHAS11.
Jefferson County Public Schools Communications Director Renee Murphy has spoken out on Seven’s death.
“We are devastated. Our hearts are breaking for this family. This school community is hurting right now,” Murphy told the news station.
Murphy did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Charles, however, believes the school could have done more to help.
“We found that the school system had a lot of holes and a lot of inconsistencies with their policies about bullying,” Charles told WLKY. “They stood on the verbal message, the lip service of zero tolerance, but they did not deliver.”
Charles has since created a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising funds to cover Seven’s funeral costs.
If you or someone you know is showing warning signs of suicide, consider contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, texting the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or seeking help from a professional.