Many celebrities are speaking out against bullying in response to news of a 12-year-old boy from Tooele County, Utah, who died by suicide after a classmate was physically and emotionally harassing him for the past year.
In a heartbreaking interview with KUTV CBS 2, Drayke Hardman‘s parents Samie and Andrew Hardman opened up about their son’s devastating situation, explaining that they thought they had done everything they could to help him before he tragically passed away.
Over the past year, Drayke had been bullied relentlessly, the attacks coming largely from a single unnamed child. Samie and Andrew brought up the issue with the school, which got involved and suspended the student. Shortly after this, the Hardmans asked their son if he was experiencing any suicidal thoughts, the mom recalled:
“He said, ‘no, no,’ and it was almost like he was disgusted that I would have even asked him.”
But things took a drastic turn on February 7 when Drayke returned home from school with a black eye. At first, he lied to his parents and wouldn’t tell them how he got injured. Later, the young boy confided in one of his sisters that he had gotten into a physical fight with a classmate. She told their parents, who encouraged Drayke to open up to them. He responded:
“Snitches get stitches.”
According to Andrew, Drayke feared retaliation and therefore was hesitant to share just how deeply he was hurting from the emotional and physical bullying. So sad!
Two days later, Drayke asked to skip his basketball practice and stay home instead. The parents agreed, thinking he had been doing better. Hours later, Drake took his life in their home. It’s unclear exactly what happened, but his two sisters found him in his bedroom after the incident. The family rushed him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead the next morning (Thursday, February 10).
As they mourn the loss of their beloved son, Samie and Andrew are sharing Drayke’s story in hopes of highlighting the serious bullying problem across schools and the need to teach kids to be kind and “Do It for Drayke.” Samie insisted:
“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.”
As this devastating story gains traction online, several celebrities have shared the tragic news to support the important cause. Model Camila Morrone was one of the first to take action, sharing the outlet’s report in her Instagram Story, writing:
“PLEASE—Take the time to read this..show your kids this.. The consequences of bullying, we all had them, we all knew them. Let’s raise LOVERS, not bullies.”
Kaia Gerber then added her voice to the cause, adding:
“My heart is broken for Drayke and his family, and every child who has been the victim to bullying. PLEASE take the time to read this, show this to your children, start the conversation. Let’s teach our children kindness and compassion. Bullying HAS NEVER and WILL NEVER be ‘cool.’ #DoItForDrayke (thank you @camilamorrone for sharing).”
So well said.
90210 alum Sara Foster had a particularly scathing message for the unnamed bully’s parents, arguing:
“This sweet boy was literally bullied to death. To the parents of the bully, you are trash. I blame you. You knew your son was a bully. There was no way you didn’t. You raised him. You failed as parents. Pay attention to your kids. And if you don’t plan on it, get sterilized. And to the many schools who DO NOTHING about bullying, do better. @hard_man03 I am so sorry for this unimaginable pain and loss.”
Actress Rosanna Arquette agreed, saying:
“Oh God this is so horrific. Bless his soul. We are living in a culture of bullying and cruelty. We must start with the kids to protect them and teach peace.”
Even Katie Couric noted:
“I’ve been following this story. It’s devastating.”
This is truly so sad. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family pay for funeral expenses. You can donate HERE if you’d like. Hear more on this terrible loss (below):
We’re thinking of the Hardman’s in this tough time. We truly hope Drayke’s story inspires parents to teach their children kindness.
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