SALT LAKE CITY — A 10-year-old Kentucky boy reportedly died by suicide last weekend. Tami Charles said she came home from the grocery store Saturday morning to find that her son Seven Bridges had died in his closet, according to WDRB. Seven’s father Donnie Bridges was at a church choir practice at the time.
“I saw my son dead. That's something in my head,” Tami Charles told WHAS11.
According to Charles, Seven underwent 26 surgeries, one of which included the insertion of a colostomy bag, that ultimately failed to fix a bowel defect he had struggled with since birth.
Charles told WHAS11 that in August 2018, Seven, who was a fifth-grader at Kerrick Elementary, had to be taken to the hospital for a CT scan after being choked and called a racial slur on the school bus.
Bridges told WDRB, “He couldn’t fight back. He didn’t know how to hurt you. He had no malice, none.”
Charles pressed school and district officials to take action against the bullying, according to reports, and the Jefferson County Public Schools District opened an investigation into the incident.
Seven was labeled “a snitch” by some of his classmates, Charles said, adding that “because I was so aggressive in advocating for him, they started to act differently toward him.”
Jefferson County Public Schools Director Renee Murphy said of Seven’s death, “We are devastated. Our hearts are breaking for this family. This school community is hurting right now.”
According to reports, JCPS plans to launch a full investigation to see how complaints were handled and review the steps taken to prevent bullying from continuing.
Charles believes that the district did not do enough and needs to make changes to prevent another tragedy like Seven’s death from happening.14 comments on this story
"We found that the school system had a lot of holes and a lot of inconsistencies with their policies about bullying. They stood on the verbal message, the lip service of zero tolerance, but they did not deliver,” Charles told Kentucky news station WLKY.
Charles has since created a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for Seven’s funeral expenses, which insurance will not cover due to the cause of Seven’s death.
If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts or showing warning signs of suicide, please consider calling the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), texting the Crisis Text Line at 741741, or seeking help from a professional.