Family says 10-year-old boy committed suicide after being bullied over colostomy bag
A Kentucky boy killed himself after experiencing severe bullying at school over his colostomy bag, according to his family.
Tami Charles told WHAS-TV that she returned home from the grocery store on Saturday to find that her only son, 10-year-old Seven Bridges, had hung himself in a closet at their Louisville home. The boy's father, Donnie Bridges, was at church choir practice when Seven committed suicide.
"I saw my son dead," Charles told the station. "That's something in my head."
According to Charles, Seven was born with a bowel condition that left him in need of a colostomy bag, even after he underwent 26 surgical procedures to try and fix the issue.
Occasionally, the colostomy bag would leak and create a foul odor, which Charles said led other students at Kerrick Elementary School to bully her son relentlessly.
In one particularly harrowing incident in August, Seven was allegedly choked and called a racial slur while riding the school bus. The boy's mother told WHAS-TV that her son nearly lost consciousness during the attack and had to be taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) eventually opened an investigation into the incident, but Charles said officials did not take appropriate action to stop the tormenting that led her son to take his own life.
"JCPS: You all failed my baby," Charles told WDRB on Monday.
In the wake of Seven's death, JCPS Communications Director Renee Murphy said the district will "launch a full investigation" into how any past complaints raised by the boy's family were handled.
"We are devastated by this," Murphy said, according to WDRB. "Our hearts are breaking for this family. The school community is hurting right now."
Charles said she is planning to take legal action against the district. Her family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses, lost wages and legal fees.