10-Year-Old Took His Own Life after Ruthless Bullying, Mother Says
On January 21, a fifth-grader committed suicide at his home after being ruthlessly bullied at school. His older sister was the one who found him and called their mother.
Now the boy’s mother is speaking out about the death of her son.
Katy, Texas resident Kevin Reese, Jr., 10, was a fifth-grade student at Robinson Elementary School who loved drawing and painting. His mother, Crystal Smith, said he had the biggest smile and appeared to be a happy child.
Smith described him as "a goofy child," who whom she called “my little goof troop.” However, the boy was unhappy inside and this was fueled by the bullying he endured at school.
His mother explained:
"I just thought he was handling the situations. They wrote on his tablet to kill yourself, 'You don't belong here.’ 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."
The little boy couldn’t cope any longer and on January 21, he took his own life. Smith said: "I never thought he would go this far. Never. I'm still in disbelief and it's taking me a while to actually accept the fact that this happened."
She believed that "he just had enough. He just had enough and he felt that he was backed into a corner." On the day he died, he and his 13-year-old sister got off the school bus and got home.
Smith was out of town for work and Reese’s stepfather was making his way home from work. The boy’s mother received a frantic call from her daughter who was screaming.
Reese’s mother recalled that she couldn’t understand what the teenager was saying except the name “Kevin.” Smith explained, "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.”
However, nothing could be done for the boy. Smith shared, "Everything was not real. I was in a place where I just couldn't move.”
She reached out to a school official and according to a voicemail from the person; the school looked into the incident where a boy punched Reese. The official accused denied there had been a "physical fight."
When the voicemail was shared with the school district, they had a different response. They claimed, "no allegations or evidence of bullying were reported to a school administrator or via the Cy-Fair Tipline associated with this student's death."
The district spokesperson confirmed that the school official who had sent Smith the voicemail was no longer at Robinson Elementary. The official was re-assigned to another position in the district.
Allie Sauls, a child counselor at Heritage Behavioral Health Consultants said: "It's becoming unfortunately quite an epidemic, and it's not just here, it's all over.”
She noted that four things contributed to children taking their lives: pressure at school, social media, problems at home, and bullying. The child counselor added, "It is rampant in schools and I think that is because it is becoming so covert.”
She urged schools to create a safe system in place. Cy-Fair ISD revealed that the district had an anonymous reporting system called the Cy-Fair Tipline.
Sauls shared, "There's been plenty of studies that show that by talking to your kids about suicide, it is not putting that idea into their head.” Reese’s distraught mother said she wished her child was still here.
She explained that she was telling his story with the hope that it will help other families. Smith encouraged, "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.”
The little boy’s bedroom was left as is. While pointing out things, his mother stated: "This is his book bag from that day, that's his homework, his ID, he has it attached to his backpack.”
She sadly insisted, "I just want to find the answer, what happened that day, what was going through his mind.”
In October 2017, Ashawnty Davis, 10, a fifth-grader at Sunrise Elementary School in Aurora suddenly started changing from a happy girl after she got involved in a fight after school. Another student recorded the incident, which happened with another girl and sent to an application called Musical.ly.
After the video went viral, two weeks later Davis committed suicide by hanging herself in a closet. Her mother revealed that the child was bullied after the video went out.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.
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