Bullying | Detroit | News

A Bullied 7-Year-Old in Detroit Has Committed Suicide: VIDEO

Seven years old!

DetroitAuthorities and media in Detroit are incredulous that a boy so young could have taken his own life over bullying, but that appears to be the tragic case, the Detroit Free Press reports:

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. said Thursday, calling the situation "unfathomable."

He said the department is investigating the child's death, but as of Thursday afternoon, it appeared the situation is "exactly as presented" -- a suicide.

The boy was found by his 14-year-old sister hanging from a bunk bed with a belt around his neck.

The 7-year-old, whom the Free Press is not naming, had been depressed about being bullied by other kids at school and in his neighborhood, and about his parents' recent separation, the boy's mother told police, according to the report.

Adds the Free Press:

The boy's mother told police she forced her way into the room where her son was by removing the door knob, grabbed her son and held him up while a neighbor removed the belt from around his neck, a report says. The boy was then placed on his mother's bed, but a 911 operator said to move him to the floor, a report says.

The boy's mother told police she had last seen her son alive at 4 p.m. Wednesday, when she left to go talk to the family's pastor about the child's depression, according to the report.

The mother told police that her son "had been depressed due to her recent separation from his father; the fact that he had been bullied continuously by the children at school, in addition to the constant teasing that he had endured because he was the only boy in the home of eight females," a report says.

A MyFOX Detroit report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Detroit Boy, 7, Dies in Apparent Suicide: MyFoxDETROIT.com


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  1. kids and adults will always get bullied, parents will always get divorced, life is always going to be hard for some of us...most of us even. Why aren't we focusing on giving kids the skills to cope with life's crap instead of fooling ourselves into thinking we can end lifes miseries?

    Posted by: chad | May 25, 2012 8:44:17 AM

  2. Chad according to the article the mother was seeking help...this is so sad and kids are very cruel that is no lie....that would be horrible! I send my condolence to the family.

    Posted by: Jorge | May 25, 2012 8:56:16 AM

  3. What's sad is a lot of society still does not seem to take bullying/harassment seriously, until a child dies. They don't understand, they can't fathom how a kid can be bullied so relentlessly and how a kid can commit suicide so young, just highlights how many people out there just don't get it. It's a deadly cycle. My heart goes out to the family.

    Posted by: Francis | May 25, 2012 9:24:08 AM

  4. If a seven-year old commits suicide, it's a clear sign that we need to wake up and realize that the world affects children much more than we think.

    Posted by: Jack M | May 25, 2012 9:29:26 AM

  5. Tragically, seems like yet another veteran in the War Against Equality in America

    Posted by: Tim&Earl | May 25, 2012 9:37:14 AM

  6. Wow, this hits way too close to home since it was at age 7 when I first started getting bullied.

    Posted by: Michae | May 25, 2012 9:44:34 AM

  7. @JACK M: Not meant to be flippant, but why not let's just aim for a 5 year old? Or how about 4? Four is a nice round number.

    Posted by: Marc C | May 25, 2012 10:05:58 AM

  8. Bullying has been going on since year 1. It hasn't changed its colors. There are other, more major factors being ignored as to why kids, as young as 7 in this case, are killing themselves. Are we raising a bunch of snowflakes?... Not teaching them how to cope, protecting them from life's stresses, trying to always make them feel happy and special. I'd venture to say bullying is near the bottom of the list as a cause. A trigger perhaps, but there's much more involved.

    Posted by: Peter | May 25, 2012 10:10:45 AM

  9. I am wondering if all the hoopla over bullying caused this..... Its very weird for a child to commit suicide... at 7 many kids really dont even really know what that is...Could it be that the nonstope coverage put the idea in the kids head or made it seem like an option. SO so terribly ad.

    Posted by: Homo Genius | May 25, 2012 10:12:52 AM

  10. Stop the coverage NOW of all these child suicides. By covering it you are helping to romanticize suicide as a solution to bullying. That includes Andy Towle!!!

    Posted by: andrew | May 25, 2012 11:01:31 AM

  11. Yes, Andrew and HG, we should kill the messenger for bearing the bad news, because clearly that will solve the problem.

    Posted by: antb | May 25, 2012 11:15:35 AM

  12. The mother was consulting a PASTOR, not a psychologist or pediatric specialist, about a 7-year old child's depression?

    Well that's dandy. Next time I sprain an ankle I'll be sure to book a sitting with Miss Cleo.

    Religion is making this country almost unbearable.

    Posted by: sparks | May 25, 2012 11:37:59 AM

  13. The answer isn't to stop talking about this but to force it into the open. I doubt that more kids today are killing themselves. I think that we are just hearing about it more due to the 24/7 electronic media we have available. Unless we make every person, adult and child, know that bullying will not be tolerated... this will continue to happen. Our society tends to give a pass to bullies. We need to enact real penalties to this crime. The "kids will be kids" arguement will lead to "I don't know why he murdered his/her family". Giving kids tools to cope with bullying is a small fraction of the equation. Making bullies pay (in a very real way) for their crime is a huge part of the solution.

    Posted by: VikingBear | May 25, 2012 11:38:15 AM

  14. @SPARKS

    The community this family lives in is very poor. Most of the people here cannot afford to get a flu shot let alone consult a psychologist. Most of these people lean on thier clergy for support for things that we would go to a specialist. It isn't the mother's fault.

    Posted by: VikingBear | May 25, 2012 11:45:56 AM

  15. I've heard rumors that the boy's mother was the one who 'bullied' him.

    No doubt living poor in a broken family, with 8 sisters, a mom, and no dad or brothers, was difficult for him. Very sad, the boy was a genuine victim alright, but not the kind that some posters are referring to on here.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 25, 2012 11:52:38 AM

  16. Desensitized.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | May 25, 2012 11:56:01 AM

  17. Desensitized.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | May 25, 2012 11:56:05 AM

  18. Nothing will happen, unfortunately. What's to understand? Every person in that kids life let him down.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | May 25, 2012 11:57:57 AM

  19. From the Detroit Free Press:

    'The mother told police that her son "had been depressed due to her recent separation from his father; the fact that he had been bullied continuously by the children at school, in addition to the CONSTANT TEASING THAT HE HAD ENDURED BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONLY BOY IN A FAMILY OF EIGHT FEMALES," a report says.

    How the F does a divorced or single 'poor' mom raise NINE children properly? WTF is wrong with some people? Seriously, WTF is their malfunction? And why is this kind of situation so endemic especially among certain demographics, at least as long as I've been alive, 35 years? What's the 'progressive' answer to solving this very serious social problem that results in many human tragedies? More welfare? More section 8? More $$$?

    I certainly believe in an adequate social safely net, including housing, healthcare, food, and education. I don't believe in ENABLING poor judgment/bad behavior like having MULTIPLE children [often by different men/boys] then 'collecting' goodies because 'mom' can't take care of herself, 'dad' can't either, or [sometimes both] don't give a F. This sh*t is unreal and p*sses me off big time, because I've seen it up close growing up and as an adult. Maybe the concept of forcing some females to be sterilized was the correct thing to do. Obviously, the course we've followed since the 60s, over the past half century, hasn't produced positive results in adequate numbers. Anybody, gay or not gay, liberal or conservative, can see this is a true statement. Unfortunately, too many people on both ends of the spectrum [including private organizations and companies making big $ off of government subsidies and contracts] make $ off this tragic and p*ss poor situation.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 25, 2012 12:11:16 PM

  20. @Sparks Pastors are trained counselors as well; she was seeking help from someone who could help. They know how to help people deal with complicated emotions and situations. You may not value religion much, but if she was comfortable going to her pastor for guidance then you know that they are a religious family; they would have found solace in his words. Not to mention expenses off a psychiatrist, though I'm sure they'd find a way if it was elevated to that level. I agree with the others though, this tragedy might have been avoided if we gave our children the knowledge of how to deal emotionally with feeling disparaged.

    Posted by: Wdeanis | May 25, 2012 12:12:30 PM

  21. "Bullying has been going on since year 1. It hasn't changed its colors."

    I'm not so sure about that, Peter. Being "mean" was considered a bad thing by most kids when I was seven years old. At seven, I was already a "f.ggot" to most folks, but it really didn't get "ruthless" until I'd past my teenage years.

    I don't want to let my mind entertain what RATBASTARD mentioned as a possibility--it's too painful. But with eight sisters! Usually older sisters are very protective of their little brother.

    Well, like I said, I come from a different time.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 25, 2012 12:12:52 PM

  22. lets not pin this on the media. how much media has a 7 year old got access to. unless there was another child suicide in that area, it is unlikely the national plague entered into the equation. a 7 year old felt helpless and hopeless probably from all the reasons above, but being tormented at school would have loomed large. and i can't help but think some scrutiny needs to be aimed at the mother, and maybe even that solo trip to the pastor. fishy...

    Posted by: bandanajack | May 25, 2012 12:18:05 PM

  23. I hope his sister is getting FREE counseling.

    Posted by: M. Scott Hernandez | May 25, 2012 12:31:46 PM

  24. I just came in from a quick errand outside. I live in a safe and very diverse inner city neighborhood, but it's still an 'inner city' neighborhood. There's a projects a 1/2 mile away. A kid [yes, kid, boy, whatever you want to call him, he was AT MOST 18] walked by me smoking weed WHILE PUSHING A BABY CARRIAGE, WITH AN INFANT IN THE CARRIAGE. The kid had absolutely no effing shame, in fact he looked defiant. I see stuff like this ALL THE TIME. Moms and dads [? BFs? Who knows] talking in terrible language around children, playing gangsta rap where every other word is 'b*tch', 'ho' 'ni**a', etc. It's RIDICULOUS. And society as whole SUBSIDIZES this behavior and 'lifestyle' through social services, and must deal with violent men and boys who fill up our prisons, jails, courts, and act in a predatory fashion on our streets. They ALL come from such 'families'.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 25, 2012 12:37:25 PM

  25. At seven I didn't even have the comprehension of life and death, much less the capacity to intellectualize taking my own life. How does someone so young get to this tragic place? It's heartbreaking.

    Posted by: Tone | May 25, 2012 1:39:25 PM

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