LAUDERHILL (CBS4) – The family of a Lauderhill Middle School student says bullying pushed him to the breaking point. The student was hospitalized after his family says he threatened to kill himself.
The sixth grader’s mom says her son is undergoing a mental evaluation after he wrote some disturbing words Friday afternoon.
Latorya Hampton says he son wrote “kill me kill me I want to kill myself.” She said she felt, “like a knife was actually stabbed in my heart.”
She says her son told her he didn’t have any friends and he was sick and tired of the kids at school teasing him.
Tuesday morning, Hampton says she took her son to see school staff, and when he told a counselor he wanted to kill himself. She says her son, who has special needs, was handcuffed and taken to the hospital in a police car.
She says that was hard to watch as a mother.
“They stated it was for his safety because they didn’t want him to injure himself or anyone else,” she said, but added, “I felt like my son was a criminal. He did the right thing but it’s like he’s being punished for doing the right thing.”
The school district did not comment on the handcuffs or other specifics of the investigation except to say the district has a bullying policy in place and this student had not reported bullying until today.
Rachel Sottile says it’s not uncommon for kids to keep bullying to themselves. She is the executive director of the YES Institute which works to prevent suicide.
“We’re seeing young kids – sixth, seventh, eighth, grades — the incidence of suicides is increasing, but what I am surprised is he actually said something and there was intervention, immediate intervention, soon enough because many times there isn’t,” said Sottile. “These kids just go home one day and take their own lives.”
Sottile says communication and education is the way to stop bullying.
“It’s not just the teacher’s responsibility, it’s not just the parent’s responsibility and ultimately, the kids are part of the solution too,” she said.
Latorya Hampton says she thinks her son might have carried out his threats.
“Pay attention to your kids,” she said. “Bullying hurts regardless of who’s doing it because someone’s going to end up paying the price in the end.”
You can find more resources on bullying at www.yesinstitute.org or by calling Paul Laroche and Dr. Greenberg at the Tim Hardaway Leadership Foundation (305) 777-0271.