Bullying blamed for 12-year-old Mississippi boy's suicide

Posted at 6:09 PM, Mar 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-12 18:09:00-04

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - A family is in mourning after a 12-year-old boy committed suicide.

Family members said Andy Leach took his own life after he was bullied relentlessly by a group of kids at Southaven Middle School.

Cheryl Hudson, Andy's mother, said the kids constantly told him he has fat, ugly, and worthless. 

She said her other son found Andy's body hanging in a room at his father's home.

"One minute I feel like I'm numb. The next minute I break down," Hudson said. "I can't fathom another parent having to put their child in the ground the way we just did."

Jacqueline Carter is a counselor at Desoto Family Counseling. She said more and more she's asked to work with kids coping with bullying. 

Carter said social media and technology are the main reasons bullying is getting worse. 

The good news, according to Carter, is that there are signs adults can watch for to see if a child is being bullied.

"Look for the social outcasts. They're more withdrawn. Those who are afraid to raise their hands in class, speak out," Carter said.

A GoFundMe was set up to assist Andy's family cope with funeral costs. Click here if you'd like to donate.

WMC Action News 5 reached out to DeSoto County Schools for a comment on the family's accusation that bullying at the school is to blame for Andy's death. The school district is on Spring Break and did not respond with a comment.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.