It is always heartbreaking news when a life is taken. But when you find out it is that of a child, and by his own hand, it gets even worse.
At this point, we have to start asking ourselves as a society – just what are we doing to fail these children?
They had a whole life ahead of them, and yet they felt so burdened and pained by their existence that death was apparently a better option.
In the case of Tami and Steve Fuller from Northwood, they already knew the answer – but there was almost nothing they could have done.
Earlier this year, on the 11th of January, the duo had left their two sons at home to run errands and grab dinner for the family.
It was only 45 minutes, but that was enough time for Aaron. By the time his brother, Joseph, found his brother with a belt still around his neck, it was too late.
Mrs. Fuller may be a certified nurse, but even the CPR she and her husband performed for thirty minutes couldn’t save the boy’s life.
The family is certain that the boy had committed suicide over the extreme bullying he had been receiving over the course of the year.
Before his death, the boy had been a continuous victim of bullies at his school in Lake Middle School for the last year or so.
His suicide attempt wasn’t something that had just appeared out of the blue, either.
In fact, this was Aaron’s second suicide attempt over the bullying he had been enduring, with many of it focused on the clothes he wore.
His family was poor, so he couldn’t afford fancier clothing, or pay for school lunches.
Many of the kids mocked the boy on days he forgot to bring along his packed lunch, saying that he obviously wasn’t loved enough by his parents to be fed properly.
There were specific shirts he absolutely would not wear, and in the mornings he would swap over from a new pair of Walmart shoes to a pair of old Nikes for school.
The soles of the shoes may have been falling off, but the fact that they carried a brand name helped ward off some of the taunting he had to deal with.
Then the bullying made its way into cyberspace, and Aaron could no longer avoid them just by staying at home.
In a brave attempt to stand up for himself, Aaron retaliated against the comments telling him to kill himself.
The boy did his best, and so did his parents – both Tami and Steven demanded the school do something about this.
For some inconceivable reason, the school argued that Aaron’s attempts to defend himself meant that they were completely helpless.
Of course, everyone knows that there is always something that could have been done by the school.
You would think that these places of education for children would be safe, but this incident proves that the administration needs to get better to prevent further heartbreaking deaths like these.