Teenager bullied for being gay commits suicide

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An inquest has begun regarding the death of a fourteen-year-old boy in England, Ayden Keenan-Olson, who decided to take his own life in March by overdosing on prescription pills because he was being badly bullied in his school in Colchester, Essex.

The young teenager left two suicide notes stating he was no longer able to handle the homophobic and racist bullying he was forced to endure.

A teacher confirmed that the teenager had reported the bullying to his school a total of twenty times, but the bullying continued, leading him to research suicide methods online.

The inquest heard on November 18 how his mother, Shy Keenan, said of her work as an anti-child abuse campaigner, “My job is to protect kids online but I could not keep my own son safe.”

She then added, “He said he was gay and had found somebody he thought he loved but it was not reciprocated. We didn’t care, we just loved him whatever.”

Keenan-Olson had come out to his parents three months before his suicide, and three months after his reported previous suicide attempt. Police also found he had been sidestepping settings on the computer in order to research suicide methods.

Keenan-Olson’s mother has begun lobbying to help safeguard children from the risk of Internet exposure to suicide. “We must remove suicide websites from the internet—it’s got to happen. We can’t have young people taking their own lives whenever they face problems or difficulties.”

429Magazine

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