Boy, 10, kills himself after being bullied at school

Thursday, May 16, 2024 - A 10-year-old boy with "big plans for the future" has taken his own life.

Sammy Teusch, from Greenfield, Indiana, died by suicide on May 5 and, according to his family, he was being bullied up until the night he passed away.

The boy had been bullied again and again at school over his teeth and his glasses, relatives said.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, May 15, for the Indiana boy who loved to fish and had "the best smile," while his anguished parents struggled to understand why their child took his own life.

Sammy was in the fourth grade at Greenfield Intermediate School and had been bullied by his classmates, according to his parents.

He killed himself on May 5 in his bedroom, his family said.

Sammy was remembered as a boy who "knew no stranger, meant no harm to anyone, never sat still, had the biggest heart along with the best smile," according to his online obituary. Sammy "had big plans for the future."

Sam Teusch, the child's father, said he and his wife had contacted the school 20 times to report Sammy was being emotionally and physically bullied at school, and had recently been beaten up on a school bus and had his glasses broken.

"They were making fun of him for his glasses in the beginning, then on to make fun of his teeth. It went on for a long time," Sam Teusch told WTHR-TV.

"They knew this was going on," the father told the station, referring to school officials.

Greenfield-Central Community Schools has released a statement saying the district is investigating the death, along with the Greenfield Police Department.

"The death of Samuel Teusch is tragic, and it has left our school corporation and larger community in tremendous grief. Our hearts pour out to the family at this time," the statement said.

"Our staff in Greenfield-Central has worked with the Teusch family quite a bit over the last 18 months. Contact between school personnel and the parents was frequent. The parents did report the manner of death as a suicide, and we are investigating their claims related to bullying," the district said.

"While the investigation continues, we are primarily focusing our resources on meeting the immediate needs of the students we serve in Greenfield-Central Schools," the statement concluded.

Greenfield police also issued a statement, saying Sammy's death was under investigation.

"Parents, now is the time to talk to your kids," police said.

"There shouldn’t be anything in their lives you don’t know about. School, homework, sports, friends, every aspect of their lives. The more conversations you have about everyday life, the more comfortable they will be talking about the hard stuff," the police statement advised parents.

Sammy's mother and father said the school should have done more to protect their son. His abuse went beyond school and showed up on social media, where classmates posted threats against him, his father told WTHR-TV.

The messages were from students who wrote, "'I'm going to beat you up. I'm going to beat you up when you get to school,'" Sam Teusch told the station.

The posts often said "mean things about his (mother), which would really, really set him off," the father said.

It was Sam Teusch who discovered Sammy's body on a Sunday morning inside his son's bedroom.

"I held him in my arms. I did the thing no father should ever have to do. And anytime I close my eyes, it's all I can see," the dad said.

A GoFundMe account has been established by the family to help with financial costs. As of Wednesday, donations had reached nearly $37,000, surpassing the fund's goal of $30,000.

"Sammy was the best kid with a wonderful personality. He was smart, funny, charming and deeply empathetic. He brightened the lives of anyone he encountered and was the life of the party," the campaign page said.

"He unexpectedly ended his time here on earth, Sunday May 5th 2024, as a result of bullying."

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