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13-Year-Old Boy Commits Suicide After Being Bullied On First Day Of School

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Mother Cries After Her 13-Year-Old Son Takes His Own Life Because He Was Targeted By Bullies On First Day Of School

The young boy who took his own life as he started school in North Carolina on Tuesday has been identified, as his heartbroken mother revealed he had been bullied for years and urged her fellow parents to teach their children to be kind.

Austin Pendergrass, 13, took his own life in a bathroom at Wendell Middle School on Tuesday on his first day of eighth-grade.

He was found dead by two students, prompting school officials to send everyone home, claiming there was a ‘medical crisis.’ Pendergrass’ family has now confirmed he died of suicide after years of bullying.

‘The signs were there, but the bullying it was so bad,’ his grieving mother, Jessica Pendergrass told WNCN, revealing he had been bullied since he was in sixth-grade. ‘It was so bad last year with kids just taunting him, hurting him,’ family friend Jalia Harris said in a video taken at a vigil Wednesday night.

He was able to enjoy the summer, his mom told WRAL, but as soon as he went back to school on Tuesday, the bullying started again. ‘It’s sad for us,’ Harris said in the video, ‘but this should be an eye-opener for everyone.’

‘Just teach your kids to be kind, because kids can be so cruel,’ Jessica Pendergrass added Family and friends gathered to remember Pendergrass at a vigil Wednesday night, each donning Austin’s favorite color: red.

They clutched balloons and flowers as they gathered at Knightdale Park in Wendell on Wednesday evening to release the balloons into the sky in his memory. ‘I just wish Austin knew all these people were here to support [him],’ his mother told WRAL. ‘I just wish he didn’t feel so alone.’

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