BULLARD, Texas (KETK) - An East Texas mother is opening up about the suicide of her 14 year old son Dalton. She wishes that amidst the bullying he experienced at Bullard Middle School, he would have seen another way out.
Dalton Bigham loved the outdoors and loved life.
"His smile was amazing," his mother said. "His laugh was contagious and I want to remember that most."
She said bullying caused her only son to take his own life. He was fourteen.
"He told me that in the locker rooms in the shower rooms is when these boys get them off to the side and they beat him up," she said. "He was corned in the bathroom, he was cornered in the changing room in the athletics department."
She says she contacted the school about it on several occasions.
"It's under investigation, we'll check into it and make sure it doesn't happen again, and then it would happen again," she said.
She never imagined having to live her life without her son, but she does not want him to have died in vain.
Her hope, "Kids say I had a friend named Dalton who took his life due to bullying and I will never let bullying happen in my presence," she said.
She also wants schools to do more.
"These kids to know that they have a place," she said. "These schools need to give them that out."
KETK contacted Bullard ISD about bullying on campus.
Soon after, the superintendent released this statement saying in part, "Our community of parents, schools, and public agencies should come together to identify students who are at risk and get them the help they need."
"God has a plan," she said. "I don't know it. I may never know it, but God does have a plan and he's the only one who will see us through this."
Dalton's 15th birthday would have been October 7th. His mother will release green balloons, his favorite color, up to heaven.
Full Bullard ISD Release:
Sadly, events in our community have compelled us to address a topic that is often not spoken of, student suicide. Unfortunately, we are not immune to this public health issue, having lost one of our own students to such a tragedy. Our hearts go out to all students, families and staff who have experienced loss throughout the Bullard community.
We strive to make safety an everyday practice in Bullard ISD and believe that schools are one of the safest places for students. Given the recent tragic event, now is the time for this conversation and for all to work together to address suicide, an issue that goes beyond the boundaries of our schools, but affects those we care so deeply about, our students.
Together, we can work to prevent suicide. Experts tell us that students who contemplate suicide give warning signs of their distress. Our community of parents, schools, and public agencies should come together to identify students who are at risk and get them the help they need. If you have concerns about your child's mental health, the mental health of their friends, or a child in the neighborhood, please reach out to either community agencies or your school. As a district, as a community, we must maintain our steadfast commitment to the safety of our children.
We ask that everyone join us in the fight against suicide, by working with our schools and local agencies to identify children who are at-risk and get them the help they need. Together, we can ensure that all of our children will grow and thrive in a safe community that is forged by our partnership and our concern. We do not want to glorify suicide, but we do not want to ignore this issue. Our promise to you is that we will continue to rethink, reassess, and re-evaluate all we do in the district for the safety of our students. Together, as a community, we can support our children and work to prevent additional tragedies.
Superintendent Todd Schneider
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