ATLANTA — Editor's note: This story contains graphic descriptions of death by suicide involving children. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.
“I still can't get him choking me out of my head."
At least 3,600 children under the age of 13 died by suicide in the last two decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, young Black children, in particular those younger than 13, are dying by suicide at rates two-times higher than their white peers.
Bullying and racism are tied to many of these cases, research shows.
The series, "A Different Cry" explores the rising suicide rates among Black youth in the U.S. The story, told through the eyes of two families who said they lost their sons to suicide, shows how school systems are ill-equipped to handle bullying complaints and how poor records and data are obscuring the true nature of the crisis in America.
"He died of being bullied to death," Tami Charles, Seven's mother, said.
"Wow, my kid."
Jeffery Taylor's family said their 7-year-old also died by suicide, though his death was never recorded that way. The day before she found him dead, Lakeshia Chaney said her little boy came to her crying, expressing that he was being bullied at his Texas school.
"That is something that's going to always stay with me," Lakeshia Chaney said. "Probably 'till the day I die. Hearing my baby cry out to me, because that was a different cry."
On Feb. 1, a streaming special for "A Different Cry" premiered on 11Alive.com and featured on Fire TV and Roku apps. Experts discussed the alarming data and possible solutions to help lower suicide rates. You can watch it below.