Austin Pendergrass, Middle Schooler Who Took His Own Life, Was Bullied, Family Says

If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the crisis by texting TALK to 741741. You can also text or dial 988.

A 13-year-old North Carolina boy whose death on campus shocked the community this week has taken his own life after being bullied, his family said.

Austin Pendergrass, an 8th grader at Wendell High School, was found dead on campus Tuesday morning, prompting school officials to send students home from what was initially called a “crisis.” medical crisis”.

The boy’s family has now confirmed the boy died by suicide.

“The signs are there but the bullying, it’s terrible. Just teach your kids to be kind because kids can be cruel,” said Jessica Pendergrass, Austin’s mother, in comments cited by the local outlet. CBS17.

Family and friends gathered for a vigil on Wednesday night in memory of the 8th grader, wearing his favorite color: red.

“I just wish Austin knew all these people were here to support [him]”His mother is quoted as saying WRALadded: “I just wish he didn’t feel so lonely.”

She said she hoped his death would “bring some awareness to other parents, to check in on their children, to be mean, to look through their social media, to look over the phone. their own, find out what’s going on. Teach their children to be nice to other children, even if they are different. “

“And just hug your kids a little tighter,” she says.

His aunt, Jessica Harris, also addressed the bullying, telling the news outlet, “It’s a shame that my nephew has to go through what he did when he went to school” and “the school beat him up.” .”

“It is truly sad that he has left us, and we will forever cherish all the memories, but unfortunately nothing can bring our baby back. Nothing,” she said.

Wake County officials said they were looking into the allegations of bullying, but had no further details on it immediately.

His on-campus death occurred the same day school officials met to discuss suicide awareness for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

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