Mourning Son’s Death, Mother Speaks Out Against Culture of Bullying

A grieving mother in Iowa whose gay son recently died by suicide spoke at length with the Des Moines Register, saying that a culture of bullying at her son’s school likely contributed to the desperation of several teens there who took their own lives. Her son AJ’s suicide is the fifth in five years among students at Southeast Polk High School.

According to the Des Moines Register, AJ’s “mother said she believes bullying and frequent insults, combined with a mental illness, contributed to [AJ’s] decision to kill himself.”

If you are in crisis or thinking about suicide, don’t hesitate to reach out for help: Call the Trevor Lifeline at the Trevor Project: 1-(866)-488-7386 (U.S. Residents). To learn about other ways to get help, and for information about helping somebody in crisis, visit the Trevor Project’s website.