9-Year-Old Boy’s Suicide Highlights Rare But Growing Problem In Preteens
Leia Pierce said her son Jamal Myles had been bullied over the past year because he was part of the LGBTQ community, which is particularly vulnerable to depression and suicide. Deaths among preteens more than doubled between 2007 and 2014.
The New York Times:
Boy, 9, Killed Himself After Being Tormented By Bullies, His Mom Says
Leia Pierce shuffled out the front door on Tuesday. Her son, Jamel Myles, 9, had killed himself last week, and she was still struggling with the basics. Eating. Sleeping. “I took a shower, but I put the same clothes back on,” she said, staring at the ground. “I need him back.” Jamel, a fourth grader at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School in Denver, hanged himself in his bedroom last Thursday, according to the county coroner, and his death has plunged a mother into despair and a community into disbelief. (Turkewitz, 8/28)
Preteen Suicides Are Rare, But Numbers Are On The Rise
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the teen suicide rate rose by more than 70 percent between 2006 and 2016. Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for elementary school-aged children in 2014, the CDC reported. The death rate among 10- to 14-year-olds more than doubled from 0.9 per 100,000 in 2007 to 2.1 per 100,000 in 2014. Suicide is a particular concern among LGBTQ youth. Pierce told KUSA-TV that her son was bullied because he was gay. (O'Donnell, 8/28)