SOUTHWEST FLORIDA – According to our sister station in Denver, a family there is mourning the loss of their 9-year-old son after he committed suicide.
They say the boy killed himself because he was reportedly bullied for being gay.
The death has us asking school leaders in our area how they are preventing bullying.
In Collier County, the school district has adopted several new programs.
One is called “We Dine Together.” It’s a program that makes sure no student eats lunch alone.
It's student-led, and started at a high school in Boca Raton.
The district also installed "buddy benches" where elementary school students can find designated peers to play with.
"We're excited about our little buddy benches,” said Collier County Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton. “If the kid needs a little buddy, the middle school and high school have the We Dine Together (program) and if someone doesn't have that friend at lunch, we will find that person so every child feel love.”
The school district also has information on their website.
It shows what bullying is and what to do if you're bullied.
if your child threatens to hurt themselves or becomes suicidal, there is help at the national suicide prevention hotline.
Their number is 1-800-273-8255.