His parents think he was not aware there was help available.
A 12-year-old student has died by suicide after being bullied by classmates because of his sexual orientation.
Andrew Leach of South Haven Mississippi was struggling with his truth. His parents said he recently came out to them as bisexual but when classmates got wind of it the bullying intensified according to LGBTQ Nation.
“He was struggling a lot internally with sexual orientation,” his father, Matt Leach, said. “He finally came out with the information at school that he thought he may be bisexual. I think that really amped up the bullying.”
“Kids were telling him, ‘We’re gonna put hands on you. You’re not going to make it out of this bathroom.’ Things of that nature,” his father said.
Unaware that her son was suffering internally, his mother Cheryl Hudson says she didn’t make the connection until after his death on March 6.
“I guess I was just oblivious to it. He just always seemed happy,” Hudson said.
The school Leach was attending won’t confirm whether or not any reports of bullying were made, but his parents believe that the school’s zero-tolerance policy means nothing.
“I want [the bullies] to know what they’ve done and how it affects other people,” Hudson said.
Leach’s parents think that their troubled son was not aware of support hotlines or LGBT organizations that can help such as the Trevor Project.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral costs.
"He was a very loving young boy. He had a contagious smile," his mother said. "He was outdoorsy. He loved to go camping. If you were down, he'd try to help you up."
A rally against bullying will be held in Andy's honor on March 17.
If you or a loved one are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, you can call the hotline at 1-800-273-8255. The Trevor Project provides trained suicide counselors 24 hours a day at 866-488-7386.