Boy (13) kills himself because bullies told him to

2019-01-25 14:51
Aaron Fuller. (Photo: GoFundMe)

Aaron Fuller. (Photo: GoFundMe)

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Whenever he forgot to pack his lunch or didn’t have money, the relentless bullies at school told him his parents didn’t love him enough to feed him.

Aaron Fuller was mocked for the way he dressed. So much so that he would refuse to wear certain shirts and traded his new shoes from Walmart for an old pair of Nikes. Even though the soles were already falling off, it didn’t matter – the brand was better to keep the taunts at bay.

The bullying later spread to social media, where the culprits told the 13-year-old boy from Ohio in the United States, to kill himself.

Aaron responded – in an attempt to stand up for himself – but the bullying didn’t stop.

The teen eventually retreated into his shell, kept quiet and would storm out of the lunch room.

When Aaron’s parents, dad Steve Fuller and stepmom Tami, approached the school they were told nothing could be done as Aaron had participated in the back-and-forth exchange.

So to get away from being harassed by his peers the sixth-grader killed himself.

“He was picked on and picked on and picked on, and Friday night was the last night he was going to be picked on,” Aaron’s uncle Joshua Tooley told the Sentinel-Tribune.

“He was the most loving kid. Whenever you saw him it was always a big hug and fist bump, let’s get the party started.”

It wasn’t Aaron’s first suicide attempt. In September last year he downed a bottle of rum his parents received as a wedding gift four years before. Steve found his son in a pool of his own vomit.

But the teen denied he’d tried to kill himself.

He claimed he just wanted to make the bullying and pain stop. So his parents sent him to see a counsellor.

The final straw came on 11 January. Steve discovered Aaron had taken $175 (R2 450) intended to pay for the balance of his school camping trip, and used it on his school lunch account.

Steve grounded Aaron and sent him to his room.

Before Steve and Tami left the house to run errands, they saw Aaron come downstairs to use the bathroom. He was noticeably upset, crying because he’d got into trouble.

After about 45 minutes the couple returned, ready to have dinner with their two boys.

Only Aaron’s brother, Joseph (15), came upstairs from the basement but Aaron remained in his room. So Joseph went looking for him.

Nothing could have prepared the 15-year-old for the scene that awaited him.

“The first words out of [Joseph’s] mouth was, ‘Aaron, no, what did you do? I can’t do this without you,’” Steve says.

He found Joseph cradling Aaron, the belt still around his neck.

Aaron had hanged himself and wasn’t breathing.

Tami and Steve took turns with CPR for 30 minutes until the ambulance arrived.

But it was too late – Aaron was pronounced dead on the scene.

When The Blade reached out to Lake Elementary for comment, superintendent Jim Witt from the Lake Local Schools said the school was shocked and saddened by Aaron’s death.

“Our school family is heartbroken over the death of our student, Aaron Fuller. Our prayers go out to Aaron’s family and friends during this most difficult time,” he wrote in an email.

“All of us who knew Aaron are grieving and will miss him very much. At this time, due to an ongoing police investigation and potential litigation, the district will have no further comments regarding this matter.”

But for Aaron’s family it’s little consolation.

“When we send our kids to school every day, we assume they’re going to be safe,” Tami says. “It’s a safe zone, but it’s not.”

The family now want to speak out against bullying to raise awareness.

“[The bullying] has to stop,” Steve told The Blade.

“People have to learn. These kids aren’t just getting bullied, but they know if they go say something to a teacher or someone else they’re the next one who’s going to get picked on or beat up.”


Read more on:    mental health

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