WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT
A heartbroken mom shared a photo of her son’s body in his coffin after he was driven to suicide by bullies.
Cheryl Hudson first shared the snap of her son Andy Leach on Facebook but has given Metro US permission to reuse it.
She hopes it will encourage bullies to think more carefully about the effects of their cruelty.
Andy 12, was found hanged in his father’s garage in Southaven, Miss. last Tuesday after months of threats by classmates who tormented him.
Cheryl told Metro US: ‘He did that in his dad’s garage. He hung himself, his 15 year-old brother found him.
‘He did leave a note. In fact, he left a few. there were a few different notes that were found, where he’s been thinking of this for quite some time.
‘He left a note, and he drew a picture of how he expected to be found, and that’s how he was found.
‘He’d been bullied off and on through most of the school year.’
Andy was a sixth-grader at Southaven Middle School, with Cheryl slating senior staff there for failing to do more to help her boy.
She said the bullies, who are now being probed by police, began by calling Andy names and escalated their behavior to ‘We’re going to put hands on you’ threats of violence.
Cheryl continued: ‘We talked to the school a few times on it, and they didn’t really do much about it.
‘This is not the first case where they have not done anything.
‘The school that he went to has got an abundance of bullying in that school.
‘The kids can’t even go to the bathroom without fear.’
Cheryl also paid a tribute to her much missed son – and vowed that she, Andy’s father and her friends would campaign to help stop others suffering the same torment.
Speaking through tears, Cheryl said: ‘Andy was a very fun-loving, outgoing very smart kid
‘He was funny, he was sarcastic, he was compassionate.
‘He was my pride and joy, he was a momma’s boy, and he was proud to admit that
‘He was a boy scout, and he was just your typical kid that liked to have fun.
‘I’m heartbroken, I’m heartbroken. My ex-husband, my friends and I are not going to stop with the anti-bullying.
‘We are going to make sure that Andy’s voice is heard, and his death is not in vain.’
No-one answered the phone at Southaven Middle School when Metro US called for a comment.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover Andy’s funeral expenses. To donate, click here.
For 24/7 confidential emotional support, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 in the US. For the UK contact Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see http://www.samaritans.org for details.