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Parents Say Son's Suicide Brought on by Bullies
INDEPENDENCE, Ky. (Tiffany Wilson) -- Two teenagers charged this week in a Florida girl's suicide have focused the national spotlight on bullying.
This week marks the second anniversary of similar tragedy in the tri-state, the death of 13-year-old Sam Denham. Local 12's Tiffany Wilson spoke to Sam's parents, who say he committed suicide after relentless teasing at Woodland Middle School in Taylor Mill.
Just above the stairs in a typical Independence home, you'll find a room ready for a teenage boy. Cadillac posters flank the bed and a coin collection clutters the nightstand.
It's as if time is standing still.
Time changed for Darryl and Carol Denham October 14th 2011. The world turned upside down. That was the day Sam committed suicide.
Carol says, When I found him it was in our bedroom, I looked at the window thinking, who shot him?
Their son was 13 years old, barely two months into his eighth grade year at Woodland Middle School. The Denhams blame his death on intense bullying.
Sam was being pushed into lockers, constantly mocked, cussed out for no reason and slapped upside the head. Those stories and others Sams friends shared after.
His parents didnt see it.
The Denhams want bullies to understand the impact of their words. It's not a game.
Sams father says, It may seem fun, that everyone's doing it. But it has a real consequence.
An empty room. A broken heart.
Consequences they hope to spare other families, We don't want to see parents going through this.
Their advice for victims is simple, but takes strength.
Talk to somebody about it, let your parents know. If you can't talk to your parents, talk to an adult, get something done about it.
According to a Bureau of Justice Study, one out of every four kids are bullied. And 85-percent of the time, no one steps in to help.