A 10-year-old boy from Louisville, Ky. is dead, and his parents are saying bullying is the reason the young child decided to take his own life.
Seven Bridges killed himself on Saturday morning, while his mother, Tami Charles was at the grocery store, and his father, Donnie Bridges, was at a church choir practice, according to WHAS11.
“For the few minutes that we left, he didn’t want us to see that,” Bridges told the news station.
“I saw my son dead. That’s something in my head,” Charles added.
Seven was his parents’ miracle child. Charles was told she couldn’t have children, but Seven was born on July 25, 2008, the only child the couple would have.
But his life wasn’t easy. From the moment he was born he needed to use a colostomy bag, and even after it was removed he would sometimes have issues with leaking. His medical problems became a reason for kids to make fun of the young child.
“Twenty-six surgeries from the day my son was born. Twenty-six surgeries. He just wanted to be normal, that’s all,” Charles said.
Seven dealt with bullying for a long time, some of it racist. Back in September, he was allegedly called the n-word by a student on a school bus. His friend demanded that he beat up that bully, but when the gentle soul refused, his own friend began to choke him.
“I still can’t get him choking me out of my head,” Seven told WHAS11 back in September of the incident. “I was thinking ‘why is he doing that, I thought he was my friend.'”
Charles took Seven to have a CT scan and then bashed the school district in a Facebook video, accusing the district of not doing enough in the situation.
“[The Kerrick Elementary Assistant Principal said] ‘I talked to the bus driver this morning.’ No referral, no incident report, no paperwork,” Charles said back in September.
Now that Seven is gone, Charles is planning to take legal action.
“The balls that were dropped…” she said. “It wasn’t that JCPS didn’t have these tools, they just weren’t at our school. It wasn’t that they didn’t have these tools to help the victims of bullying, they just weren’t there, they weren’t used.”
Charles had hoped that transferring Seven to a new school, W.E.B. DuBois Academy would have given her son a new start in the 6th grade.
“We kept telling him this will all be over,” Charles said.
Now, Charles is hoping that Seven’s story will give bullies pause and encourage them to be kinder.
The Kerrick Elementary Principal did come to the hospital to see the family after Seven was discovered dead, and a crisis team was expected to be at schools Tuesday to assist the children as needed.
Seven’s wake will be held on Feb. 1, and his funeral will be held the following day.
The family, in the meantime, has started a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses and supporting the family in finding justice.
So far, in two days, the campaign has raised more than $41,000 of its $60,000 goal.