LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The mother who wanted to sue Jefferson County Public Schools after her son took his own life will no longer “be pursuing any litigation against JCPS.”
It’s been a year since Tami Charles said goodbye to her son, Seven Bridges. The 10-year-old took his own life in Jan. 2019.
“I can't think of anybody that I would want to be a part of this, this pain, this walk, this journey,” Charles said.
Charles said her son was being bullied and WHAS 11 reported on an incident that happened on the bus in Sept. 2018, where Seven said he had been choked and called names.
Seven used a colostomy bag from a very young age and his parents said he would get made fun of for it.
News of his suicide spread quickly across the world. People started sharing the hashtag #SevenStrong, and others would show off their own colostomy bags saying “Bags Out for Seven.”
Two days after his death, Charles and her husband talked about potentially suing Jefferson County Public Schools. His mother believed JCPS did not do enough to prevent the bullying that occurred in the months leading up to his suicide.
A year later, she believes his story has helped make necessary changes without going to court.
Since his death, JCPS has made it easier to report bullying. There’s a ‘B’ people can click on the homepage that serves as a tip line.
The district also held a Bullying and Suicide Prevention Summit and is making sure every school has a mental health professional inside this school year.
“I 100% believe our son seven was a big part of that,” Charles said Thursday.
“Providing support to students is always a priority to us,” said JCPS spokesperson, Renee Murphy in a statement. “We’ve had focus on addressing students in crisis and those who need mental health support.”
House Bill 190 also making its way through Frankfort this week.
It would put time requirements on investigations into bullying incidents, and force schools across the Commonwealth to put procedures in place to prevent future bullying
“I don't think we've won the race by any stretch of the matter, but I do believe we're well on our way and for that I can't be more grateful,” Charles explained.
Charles has walked in the ‘Out of Darkness’ suicide awareness walk, and participated in New York Fashion Week promoting suicide prevention.
She said she will continue to raise awareness so that Seven’s story can inspire others to be kind.
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