“Homophobia Kills” – 9 Year Old Commits Suicide


Jamie Beck, reporter

On August 23, 2018 in Denver, Colorado, a young boy Jamel Myles at the age of 9  was found  four days into the new school year, dead after committing suicide because he was bullied. When Jamel first came out to his mom and told her he was gay, she looked away thinking he was joking.  Realizing he wasn’t and how scared he was, she told him that “she still loved him.” Jamel also told his family members over the summer, and because his mother’s supportive reaction made him feel comfortable, he decided he wanted to tell his classmates because he wanted them to know how proud he was. He went into class thinking they would share the same excitement but instead they bullied him. Jamel said to his mother “I know you buy me boy stuff because I’m a boy, but I’d rather dress like a girl.” The young boy told his older sister that the students acted with cruelty telling him to “kill himself.” After this happened counselors were made available to all students, teacher, and staff at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School were Jamel attended as a fourth grader. The principal, Christine Fleming, sent letters to families addressing the situation. The Monday after Jamel’s death Christine Fleming held a meeting with parents so she could have the chance to discuss the incident. “We are deeply committed to our students’ well-being,” said Will Jones, director of media relations for Denver Public Schools. “That commitment is at the core for all educators in DPS, which is a safe and welcoming environment. Our priority right now is to look at all the concerns raised in this case, to keep all our students safe and to do a fair and thorough review of the facts surrounding this tragic loss.”

“We need to be more loving, more caring, more accepting of each other,” Ms. Pierce said. “My heart breaks every second.”