A 15-year-old student at Heard County High School in Georgia took his own life after experiencing bullying at school.
On Nov. 4, Austin McEntyre told his mom, Lisa McEntyre, that he felt sick and didn’t believe he should attend school.
“I specifically said, ‘Will you please be honest with me?'” Lisa said.
That’s when Austin admitted to her that he was being bullied.
When she asked what exactly they had been doing, he told her they “pantsed” him.
“Well, this particular time they pantsed him with his shorts and underwear,” Lisa said. Outside of that brief description, Austin wasn’t comfortable giving much detail beyond what he had already told her.
Lisa then called the principal and explained the situation to him.
The principal promised her that he would take steps to address the matter and handle the incident, according to CrimeOnLine.
Lisa said she had no reason to believe the principal wouldn’t deal with the situation.
On Nov. 5, she talked with Austin once he got home from work.
They went for a walk, and that’s when he told her he felt he didn’t have very many friends.
Lisa said she was surprised to hear this and did her best to assure him that this wasn’t the case.
Austin was part of the football and track teams, and he was on the robotics team and loved making people laugh. He even received a scholarship through the REACH Georgia program, according to his tribute.
Lisa said after their conversation, she thought he was feeling better about school.
The following day, Lisa went to work but called Austin a bit later in the morning. They talked briefly, things seemed fine, and they told each other they loved each other.
At the end of her shift, she noticed she had two missed calls from the Heard County Sheriff’s Office indicating they were looking for Austin because he may be trying to harm himself.
Lisa rushed home and found deputies waiting there. They confirmed that Austin had taken his life.
The Heard County School Superintendent released a statement to WMAZ expressing condolences to the family.
“The Heard County School System is heartbroken over the loss of one of our high school students, Austin McEntyre. There is an ongoing investigation into the claims of bullying as well as other events which have been brought to light by law enforcement,” the statement said.
The Heard County Sheriff’s Office also indicated they were investigating the suicide.
Lisa said she wanted to get a message out to students everywhere in the hopes that this tragedy will change lives for the better.
“I want kids to be kind and compassionate and inclusive of everybody. They don’t need to isolate kids and make them feel like they’re not worth something,” she said.
As for students who are struggling, she said, “People are wanting and willing to listen and help. Don’t ever feel like you’re ever carrying this whole world on your shoulders alone. You’re not.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.