The fifth-grader’s mother hopes to raise awareness about childhood suicide.
By Jasmine Washington, Ebony
A mother in Texas is speaking out after her 10-year-old son died from suicide this year. Crystal Smith said the death of her son, Kevin Reese Jr., was brought on by bullying from his classmates at Robinson Elementary School.
“I never thought he would go this far, never. I’m still in disbelief and it’s taking me awhile to actually accept the fact that this happened,” Smith told Houston’s ABC 13.
According to Smith, her son was a “goofy child” but struggled with his peers. “I just thought he was handling the situations. They wrote on his tablet to kill yourself, ‘You don’t belong here,’” she said. “When it got physical back in November, he came home crying because he didn’t fight back and one of the boys punched him several times coming from recess.”
Smith said she reported her son’s account to Robin Elementary officials, who denied evidence of a physical fight. “They told me they never found any bullying going on,” she said.
The fifth-grader killed himself two months later. “He just had enough and he felt that he was backed into a corner,” Smith said.
Reese was the youngest of the 26 children in the Houston area who committed suicide in the past year, the news outlet reports.
Smith shared her story in hopes of helping other families and offered advice about childhood suicide and tips for prevention: “Pay attention to your child, don’t assume that things are handled at the school,” she said.
This article originally appeared in Ebony.