A Texas mother is mourning the loss of her 10-year-old son, who died by suicide after he faced ruthless bullying by schoolmates.
Kevin Reese Jr.’s mother, Crystal Smith, said her fifth-grader was a “goofy child” that dealt with merciless torment from bullies at Robinson Elementary School, KTRK reported.
“They wrote on his tablet to ‘Kill yourself, you don’t belong here,'” Smith told the local news station. “When it got physical back in November, he came home crying because he didn’t fight back and one of the boys punched him several times coming from recess.”
After Smith reported the incident to school officials, she was told there was no evidence of a “physical fight,” KTRK reported.
“They told me they never found any bullying going on,” Smith added.
Then one day in January, little Kevin suffered all he could take.
“He just had enough and he felt that he was backed into a corner,” Smith said.
On Jan. 21, Kevin and his 13-year-old sister got off the school bus and went home. At the time, Kevin’s mom was out of town for work and his stepdad was on his way home from work. However, before his stepdad could get home, Kevin was found hanging in his closet.
"She was just screaming on the phone, and I didn't understand and she screamed, 'Kevin,'" Crystal said about the frantic phone call she received from Kevin’s sister.
Eventually, Crystal understood that her son took his own life.
"He hung himself in his closet. I told her to hang on with me, if you cut him down and while you're cutting him down, call 911," she added.
Crystal said she contacted Kevin’s school after his suicide and they reiterated that they’ve found no evidence of bullying. Now, the grieving mother is telling his story with the hopes of helping other families.
"Pay attention to your child, don't assume that things are handled at the school, stay on top of it until you see something come out on the end," Crystal told KTRK.
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, you can get help by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.