PLEASANT HILL, Iowa -- A 16-year-old gay teen killed himself over the weekend, and his mother said she believes it was because of his being bullied at high school.
Alexander Betts Jr. was the fifth teenager to die by suicide at Southeast Polk High School over the past five years, according to The Associated Press. The school's principal declined to say whether Alexander had ever reported being bullying.
Sheryl Moore told the Des Moines Register that her son told teachers that he was being bullied for being gay. His friends told the media that Alexander was constantly picked on because he was gay, half African-American and born with a cleft lip.
Pleasant Hill is a suburban city east of Des Moines, Iowa, with a population of 8,785.
How to find help if you feel suicidal
If you or a young person you care about needs support, call The Trevor Lifeline at (866) 488-7386. It’s free, confidential and available 24/7. Learn more at TheTrevorProject.org.
-- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255
-- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education: save.org.
-- Suicide Prevention Resource Center: www.sprc.org
-- Every county operates immediate mental health crisis response services. For information, contact your local county human services agency.