LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Kentucky mother says her 10-year-old son was bullied relentlessly at school before he took his own life over the weekend, according to WAVE.
Tami Charles said her son, Seven Bridges, was tormented over the colostomy bag he used after undergoing numerous surgeries that failed to completely repair a medical defect. Bullies reportedly targeted him over the smell from the device.
"Twenty-six surgeries from the day my son was born. Twenty-six surgeries," Tami Charles told WHAS. "He just wanted to be normal, that's all."
Charles said she came home from the grocery store Saturday morning to find Seven Bridges dead of an apparent suicide.
She said the fifth grader loved to dress up as a super hero, but she always worried that his smile hid a deep sadness.
Tami and Donnie Charles told WDRB that they are considering legal action against Jefferson County Public Schools, saying that their son was routinely bullied at school and on the bus – including one instance when another student allegedly called Seven Bridges a racial slur and choked him until he nearly lost consciousness.
Communications Director Renee Murphy said the school district will conduct a "full investigation" into past complaints and added that "our hearts are breaking for this family."
Charles said Seven Bridges was already signed up to change schools the next year.
"We would talk to him about having new friends and a new start," she told WAVE. "He just had to get to the end of the year."
A GoFundMe page has been created to help pay for the boy's funeral.
If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or night, or chat online.
Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.