Jamel Myles was only nine years old when he took his own life on August 23, 2018 by hanging. He had just started the fourth grade at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School in Denver, Colorado. Myles had recently come out to his mother, Leia Pierce, as gay, and her response was nothing but loving and positive. Myles was so excited about his family's support, he decided to tell his new classmates. According to Pierce: "He went to school and said he was gonna tell people he’s gay because he’s proud of himself.” (PEOPLE).

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Just days after announcing his sexuality to his class, Myles hanged himself. According to PEOPLE magazine, Myles died at the hospital after paramedics responded to a "medical incident" at the family's home.

Bullying at school

Prior to this tragedy, he told his older sister that the other children at school were bullying him to such extremes that they encouraged him to commit suicide. He never told his mother about what the other kids were saying, though.

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She believes their bullying is what ultimately led him to kill himself.

Spokesman Will Jones stated that the school district is currently investigating the incident to see if bullying was an issue, since they had no knowledge of any type of bullying going on.

“Our priority right now is to look at all the concerns raised in this case, to keep all our students safe and to do a fair and thorough review of the facts surrounding this tragic loss,” Jones said in an email to The Washington Post.

LGBT+ acceptance

Jessie Smiley, another school district spokesman, released a statement regarding the school's policies in accordance with acceptance of the LGBT+ community.

"Our policies and practices reflect this commitment to ensuring that out LGBTQ+ students can pursue their education with dignity and joy — from training to prevent and stop bullying to policies and guidance materials that fully respect gender identity,” Smiley wrote in an email to PEOPLE.

Smiley also stated that all students should be treated with respect, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or transgender status.

Pierce is angry and wants to know why the school hasn't done more to prevent bullying and to keep something like this from happening again.

This isn't the first time parents have questioned school policies and tactics when it comes to preventing bullying of any kind.

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According to The New York Times, some parents have begun suing schools in recent years, "raising questions over how much teachers can possibly be expected to do to stop the behavior."

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