DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Public Schools released a statement following the tragic death of one of its students. Jamel Myles, 9, took his own life last week.
Jamel was reportedly bullied after coming out to his classmates that he was gay.
His mother posted about the tragedy on Facebook saying, “I don’t know what to do without my son. I love him. I can’t even sleep. He always sleeps next to me.”
Tuesday night, DPS released this statement:
Our deepest sympathies go out to Jamel Myles’ family and the entire Shoemaker community. We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss.
At DPS, we are deeply committed to ensuring that all members of our school community are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or transgender status. It is critical that our students receive all the supports they need to learn and thrive in a safe and welcoming environment. Our policies and practices reflect this commitment to ensuring that our LGBTQ+ students can pursue their education with dignity and joy — from training to prevent and stop bullying to policies and guidance materials that fully respect gender identity (including use of preferred pronouns and restrooms).
We also know, however, that we as a society have a long way to go to ensure that no child ever is bullied or treated with disrespect because of their self-identification. All of us – parents, educators, and fellow students – need to lead the way in setting an example of love, respect and dignity for our LGBTQ+ youth.
As we mourn Jamel’s passing, let us all come together to celebrate the light that Jamel brought into the world and ensure that all of Jamel’s friends and peers throughout our community continue to shine their lights brightly.
Suicide is the leading cause of death in Colorado among children and adolescents 10 to 24 according to Colorado Health Institute.
If you need help you can call the state crisis hotline number at 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or you can text TALK to 38255.
You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.
LINK: Mental Health Colorado