Mom pens heartbreaking letter after online bullies drove her 17-year-old son to suicide

By Shanaaz Prince
06 October 2016

17-year-old Felix stepped in front of a train. He died instantly.

Felix Alexander was bullied from the time he was just 10 years old.

Seven years later, he couldn't take it anymore. In April, the 17-year-old from Worcester in the UK stepped in front of a train. He died instantly.

Felix's mom, Lucy (51), is devastated by the loss of her son – and she's speaking out in the hope that other children never have to endure the kind of pain her Felix did.

The nurse told the Sun the horrifying bullying began when Felix was in primary school. A classmate had cruelly mocked him because he wasn't allowed to play the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The bullying snowballed from there until eventually Felix became "the most hated boy in school".

In a candid letter to the Worcester News, Lucy, who also has a 22-year-old daughter, Charlotte, and another a son, Ben (21), warns people of the dangers of cyber bullying.

“On April 27th 2016 our beautiful 17-year-old son took his own life," the devastated mother wrote. "He decided to do this because he could not see any way to be happy.

"It began with unkindness and social isolation and over the years with the advent of social media it became cruel and overwhelming.

"People who had never even met Felix were abusing him over social media," she said.

She went on to explain how her son had battled to make friends as the most "hated" boy in the school.

Eventually things became so bad that he moved schools. "Even though he was miserable he was also terrified of the unknown and was sure that because he felt he was so worthless, another school would make no difference."


Read more: Teacher uses two apples to perfectly illustrate the effects of bullying


Lucy says Felix did make friends there, and his teachers found him to be "bright, kind and caring".

But it could not heal Felix's pain.

"He was however so badly damaged by the abuse, isolation and unkindness he had experienced that he was unable to see just how many people truly cared for him," she said.

"I write this letter not for sympathy, but because there are so many more children like Felix who are struggling and we need to wake up to the cruel world we are living in.

PHOTO: Family handout PHOTO: Family handout

"I am appealing to children to be kind ALWAYS and never stand by and leave bullying unreported. Be that one person prepared to stand up to unkindness. You will never regret being a good friend.

"I have been told that ‘everyone says things they don't mean on social media’. Unkindness is dismissed as 'banter' and because they cannot see the effect of their words they do not believe there is one.

"Our children need to understand that actions have consequences and that people are wounded, sometimes fatally by these so called 'keyboard warriors'.


Read more: How to protect your child online


"Not all children participate in online abuse, but they may be guilty of enabling others to do it. They do this by not reporting it, by not supporting or befriending the child being abused, which just validates the bully's behaviour."

Lucy also appealed to parents to be vigilant about their children's online habits, advising them to even look at their child's various social media accounts.

"We don't like to think that OUR children could be responsible for being cruel to another child, but I have been shocked by the 'nice' kids who were responsible in part for Felix's anguish. Even if they only say something horrible once, that will not be the only person who will have said something that week.

"Group chats can be a particular problem and they can disintegrate into hate-fests very easily. It is too simplistic to say, ‘Why don't you just block them?’ or ‘You don't have to read it!’ This is the way young people communicate now and many are actually are losing the ability to communicate effectively face to face.

"On several occasions we removed all form of social media from Felix as it was causing so much distress, but that just isolated him further and he felt that it was a punishment and not a protection. Look at your children's Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Googlechat and Facebook.

"Help them understand that if they are writing or posting something that they would not want you to read then they should not be doing it. Help them self-edit before they post. We have a collective responsibility to prevent other young lives being lost to unkindness and bullying.


Read more: Shocking video of bullying at KZN school goes viral


"You may see that I have repeatedly used one word in this letter and I make no apology for this. The word is kindness. I said this at our son's funeral. Please be kind always, for you never know what is in someone's heart or mind.

"Our lives have been irrevocably damaged by the loss of our wonderful son; please don't let it happen to any other family.”

Sources: Worcesternews, Mirror.co.uk, The Guardian, The Sun, Mashable.com

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