DENVER -- (KDVR) -- A Denver mom wants to shine a light on bullying and suicide after the death of her son last week. Leia Pierce said her son killed himself in their home on Thursday. He was 9 years old.
Pierce says bullying was a factor in the death of her son, Jamel Myles. He started fourth grade on Monday. Pierce said he came out to her as gay over the summer.
"And he looked so scared when he told me. He was like, 'Mom I'm gay.' And I thought he was playing, so I looked back because I was driving, and he was all curled up, so scared. And I said, I still love you," Pierce told KDVR.
Pierce said her son wanted to tell his classmates.
"He went to school and said he was gonna tell people he's gay because he's proud of himself," she said.
On Thursday, four days into the school year, Jamel took his own life. Pierce found her son dead in their Denver home. She said he killed himself after being bullied.
"My son told my oldest daughter the kids at school told him to kill himself," Pierce said. "I'm just sad he didn't come to me."
The Denver Police Department is investigating the death as a suicide.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or depression, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800-273-8255). You can speak with someone who will provide free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To learn how to help someone in crisis, call the same number.