9-year-old boy commits suicide after he's bullied for coming out, mother says

The boy had just begun fourth grade at a school in Colorado.

August 27, 2018, 7:40 PM

A 9-year-old boy in Colorado killed himself on Thursday after his mother said he was bullied for coming out as gay.

Jamel Myles had just begun fourth grade at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School.

Jamel's mother, Leia Pierce, told ABC News that her son had come out over the summer.

"My son was nervous to tell me he was gay. He told me at 9. I was driving, I looked back at him and said, "I still love you son," she recalled. "He is my sunshine ... he is my baby."

The school said it's investigating the bullying allegations.

"We are deeply committed to our students’ well-being," said Will Jones, director of media relations for Denver Public Schools. "That commitment is at the core for all educators in DPS, which is a safe and welcoming environment. 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."

The school said it's providing social workers and counseling to students.

The Denver Police Department confirmed Jamel's death was a suicide and said it's continuing to investigate the circumstances, which appear non-criminal at this time.

For those experiencing depressions or suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 800-273-8255.