Schools should be safe places for students, places where children are taught about the real values in life and places where they should be encouraged by their teachers to pursue their dreams. Schools are places where students will spend the most of their time until becoming adults and places where students will form their personality.
Unfortunately, none of the above will now apply to the 12-year-old Drayke, the student who took his own life earlier this month after being bullied in school by his classmate for extended period of time while the school officials and the teachers did almost nothing to stop him.
Drayke tragically passed away on February 10 after he reportedly tried to take his own life in response to bullying from a classmate.
According to Andy and Samie, Drayke’s parents, there was an incident earlier in the week prior to his death when their son came home from his Utah school with a black eye. The little boy initially lied to his parents and didn’t tell them the truth what had happened earlier that day, but he later told his sister the injury was sustained during a physical altercation with a peer.
Drayke’s sister immediately informed their parents about the injury. Andy and Samie pushed Drayke and asked him to speak with them if there was any problem, but he refused. They even encouraged him to reach out to them if he was struggling. His response to them was, “snitches get stitches.”
In an interview with KUTV, Drayke’s parents said their son missed his evening basketball practice session two days after the incident and remained home. That evening Drayke attempted to take his own life and he was rushed to hospital as soon as he was discovered by his sisters. The boy was pronounced dead in the hospital the next day early morning.
In the emotional interview, Andy and Samie said Drayke was bullied at school for extended period of time over the past year. Although they thought they’d done everything they could for their son, it was probably not enough. The parents addressed the problem and visited the school several times seeking school’s protection from that particular classmate. At one point, his parents say, the school took action and issued a suspension to that classmate.
In an effort to make sure everything is fine with their son, Samie reportedly spoke to Drayke about the problem he had in school asking him if he recently had suicidal thoughts. “He said, ‘no, no,’ and it was almost like he was disgusted that I would have even asked him,” she said to KUTV.
The parents decided to speak publicly about what they went through in an effort to encourage parents teaching children to be kind hoping that proper behavior will prevent future tragedies like this one. Additionally, they promoted a social media hashtag, #doitfordrayke, to encourage people to be kind to one another and pay generosity forward whenever possible.
“Kids are going to be the kinds of kids that are going to do what they want, until they know that it’s not OK. I think that that’s where those hard conversations come from,” Samie said.
GoFundMe campaign was set up by a family friend to support the costs of Drayke’s funeral and memorial service.