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Heartbreaking New Details About The Suicide Of A 12-Year-Old Boy Who Hung Himself After Years Of Bullying

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Andy Leach, 12-year-old boy, killed himself after years of bullying

Students called him fat and ugly.

A sixth-grade boy committed suicide Mar. 6 after he was continuously bullied.

Andrew Leach, 12, left a heartbreaking note and hung himself in the garage. The boy’s 16-year-old brother discovered his body.

Andrew, nicknamed Andy, attended Southaven Middle School where his mother said bullying is all too common.

“From what we are hearing, there was a group of kids that would go around calling him fat, ugly and worthless,” the boy’s mother, Cheryl Hudson, told KMOV.

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Hudson said she was unaware of her son’s suicidal thoughts and didn’t realize he needed help.

“I guess I was just oblivious to it. He just always seemed happy,” Hudson told WSVN.

His father, Matt Leach, said Andy was struggling with his sexuality which may have caused the bullying to escalate.

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“He was struggling a lot internally with sexual orientation,” he said. “He finally came out with the information at school that he thought he may be bisexual. I think that really amped up the bullying.”

Matt explained to WSVN that he knew of some of the bullying Andrew was experiencing but not the severity of its effect on his boy.

“Kids were telling him, ‘We’re gonna put hands on you. You’re not going to make it out of this bathroom.’ Things of that nature,” his father said.

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Hudson also said bullying had brought another student at Southaven Middle School to kill herself.

“A few years ago there was a young girl who hung herself from a water tower due to bullying,” she said. “There have been several attempts since then with other kids.”

When asked if she had ever brought the issue up to school officials, Hudson said she had but was unsure of what to do.

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“I only spoke with the school’s 6th-grade principal,” she said. “I didn’t know how to handle it. His dad did talk to a teacher one time.”

According to WREG, law enforcement is investigating the incident.

Desoto County Schools released a statement after Andy’s death.

“All bullying reports are treated with the utmost importance,” the statement reads. “Students and parents are encouraged to contact school officials anytime there are bullying concerns, and they can use a link on the DeSoto County Schools website if they would prefer to report bullying incidents anonymously. All claims are investigated thoroughly, and school counselors are trained to help students and intervene when they are aware of a situation. Our hearts go out to this young student’s friends and family.”

A family friend set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for the grieving family.

“Our hearts are saddened as Andy has went to be with the Lord this evening,” the account reads. “Andy was a fun loving, outgoing 12-year-old little boy. He will be missed deeply by all that knew and loved him. No words could come close to expressing what this family is enduring.

“I hope to raise funds to help with his final expenses. All money will go for arrangements and to help his family in the days ahead. If you can’t contribute monetarily I ask that you pray for his mom, dad, brothers, family & friends."

“I ask that you kiss your kids and hug them a bit tighter. We never know when God may need them back. Please feel free to share the campaign and Thank You all for the love and support as we struggle to find peace in the days ahead. God Bless.”

Tiffany Allen, the friend who launched the GoFundMe, set a goal to raise $5,000 for the boy’s family. Over $13,000 has been donated in just seven days.

The fundraiser has been shared on Facebook thousands of times and the comment section is growing.

“Bullying must stop for the love of our children,” one person wrote under the GoFundMe campaign.

Andy’s father urged parents to pay attention to their children’s behavior.

“If you think there’s any chance of your child suffering from depression, their grades are drastically changing, their eating habits or sleeping habits changed, then get in their business. Talk to them,” Matt said.

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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