Parents of a 10-year-old boy in Louisville, Kentucky, are searching for answers after their son took his life following a string of bullying incidents.
When the parents of Seven Charles returned home from the grocery store on the morning of January 19, they found their deceased son hanging in his bedroom closet.
Tami Charles, the mother of the Kerrick Elementary student, believed repeated instances of bullying led her son to commit suicide. Students allegedly taunted her son on the school bus. Due to a medical condition, he was reportedly picked on for a bowel condition that led him to emit a body odor. Seven had 26 surgeries but was unable to correct or treat his disease.
"We found that the school system had a lot of holes and a lot of inconsistencies with their policies about bullying," she told WLKY. "They stood on the verbal message, the lip service of zero tolerance, but they did not deliver."
In one incident last August, the fifth-grader was reportedly choked and called a "n****r" by a peer. Seven told Charles he was feeling dizzy after the racial incident and had to be taken to the hospital.
The assault was then reported to Jefferson County Public Schools, sparking an investigation. It is not known if the student responsible was punished, and the district has yet to disclose the outcome of the case.
Weeks before the alleged choking, Seven was found crying about his friends pushing him away.
"When complaints were made, I can tell you they were addressed. But again, we will have a full investigation, a full review to see exactly what happened and if all the policies and procedures were followed," JCPS spokesperson Renee Murphy told the media.
Donnie Bridges, Seven's father, spoke with WDRB about his son's love for comic books and superheroes and said he was a good kid who never raised a fist to anyone.
“Seven knew the Lord,” Bridges said. “He knew right from wrong. We instilled that in him at a young age. He went to church.”
Since the untimely death of their child, Bridges and Charles are planning to take legal action against the district for its lackluster response to the reports of bullying, reports WHAS 11. The family has set up a GoFundMe page with a $60,000 goal to assist with funeral costs and other expenses.
They will never stop advocating for their son. Despite the pain, his mother forgives the children.
"Forgive yourself. Seven did. He forgave you already. He found his peace; it's time for you to find yours," she told WLKY.
Blavitize your inbox! Join our daily newsletter for fresh stories and breaking news.
Now, check these out:
Native American Activist Nathan Phillips Speaks Out After MAGA Hat Teens Harassed Him And Others
After 3 Years, No One Is Behind Bars For The Ongoing Flint Water Crisis