The country has been mourning the tragic passing of 15-year-old boy Nigel Shelby who took his own liofe after being bullied in school for being gay. His mother is finally speaking out.
Camika Shelby, from Huntsville, Alabama, told NBC News about her son, “I don’t want him to be remembered as a kid that was bullied for being gay and took his own life. He was sunshine. He was such a good spirit to have around. It breaks my heart because I feel like he had so much love to give.”
Camika also revealed, he came out to her two years ago, “I just grabbed him and hugged him and told him I already knew. I told him I would never turn my back on him. I always told him, ‘Whatever you want in life, you can have it.'” She continued, “We live in a world where now … well, it’s always been, everybody is different. So to make someone feel less than because they are different, it’s not OK.”
Shelby, a high school freshman in Huntsville, committed suicide Thursday, April 18. A GoFundMe page has already exceeded its goal and is now over $36,000.
“We were saddened to learn this morning of the death of Nigel Shelby, one of our 9th grade students. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. Parents, please talk to your students about Nigel’s death,” Aaron King, the principal of Shelby’s school, said in a statement. “Know and be aware of changes in your child. Talk to them about what they see, words they speak and actions they can take to make a difference. We must be better.”
“Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University,” the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reported. On top of that, the CDC found that more than “14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.”
In addition, Black children are twice as likely to commit suicide than white children, according to Nationwide Children’s.
Rest in power, Nigel.