BULLARD, TX - An East Texas mother spoke out on Tuesday against what she calls relentless bullying. Monica Jo Bigham said her 14-year-old son, Dalton, was the victim of bullying at school in Bullard, Texas. He took his own life.
Her story was featured on KETK Television and the EastTexasMatters.com news website.
“He told me that in the locker rooms [and] in the shower rooms is when these boys ... beat him up,” she said. “He was cornered in the bathroom, he was cornered in the changing room."
Bigham said she contacted the school on several occasions, but her son continued to suffer.
“It’s under investigation,” she quoted school officials as saying. “We’ll check into it and make sure it doesn’t happen again, and then it would happen again.”
Bullard ISD Superintendent Todd Schneider released a statement on the issue, saying, “Our community of parents, schools, and public agencies should come together to identify students who are at risk and get them the help they need.”
Bigham said she wants schools to do more.
"These kids need to know they have a place," she said. "These schools need to give them that."
On Dalton’s 15th birthday, Bigham plans to release green balloons in his memory.
Her hope is this: “Kid’s say, 'I had a friend named Dalton who took his life due to bullying and I will never let bullying happen in my presence.'”
Watch the video clip to hear more from Monica Jo Bigham.
(Information and video from EastTexasMatters.com)
Full Bullard ISD Release:
Sadly, events in our community have compelled us to address a topic that is often not spoken of, student suicide. Unfortunately, we are not immune to this public health issue, having lost one of our own students to such a tragedy. Our hearts go out to all students, families and staff who have experienced loss throughout the Bullard community.
We strive to make safety an everyday practice in Bullard ISD and believe that schools are one of the safest places for students. Given the recent tragic event, now is the time for this conversation and for all to work together to address suicide, an issue that goes beyond the boundaries of our schools, but affects those we care so deeply about, our students.
Together, we can work to prevent suicide. Experts tell us that students who contemplate suicide give warning signs of their distress. Our community of parents, schools, and public agencies should come together to identify students who are at risk and get them the help they need. If you have concerns about your child's mental health, the mental health of their friends, or a child in the neighborhood, please reach out to either community agencies or your school. As a district, as a community, we must maintain our steadfast commitment to the safety of our children.
We ask that everyone join us in the fight against suicide, by working with our schools and local agencies to identify children who are at-risk and get them the help they need. Together, we can ensure that all of our children will grow and thrive in a safe community that is forged by our partnership and our concern. We do not want to glorify suicide, but we do not want to ignore this issue. Our promise to you is that we will continue to rethink, reassess, and re-evaluate all we do in the district for the safety of our students. Together, as a community, we can support our children and work to prevent additional tragedies.
Superintendent Todd Schneider
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