PALMDALE ( — Classmates of a 13-year-old Palmdale boy who went missing and later committed suicide said he was teased over his love of cheerleading.

Nigel Hardy disappeared Monday morning after he became upset when he was temporarily suspended from Hillview Middle School after fighting with another student.

Hardy’s father found a suicide note from his son and discovered his gun was missing.

The teen was found dead in Kern County Monday night with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Bright Addo, a student at Hillview Middle, said Hardy was often teased and bullied for being on the A.V. Dynasty All-Stars competitive cheerleading squad.

“He was a cheerleader. And they were talking about him and stuff,” he said. “We should stop bullying people and talking stuff about people.”

Addo added, “He was cool. He was a nice guy. He was funny.”

Dustin Velazquez, Hardy’s cheerleading coach, said he wished the teen would have reached out to him.

“I wish I could have helped him more. I wish he could have come to me,” he said.

Velazquez, however, told CBS2’s Amy Johnson that Hardy did talk to him about being bullied.

“He did a couple times. I told him that even myself, in high school, I cheered and people would say, ‘Oh, you’re gay.’ I’m just like, you gotta ignore it,” he said.

Counselors were on campus Wednesday to help students and staff deal with their loss. A special assembly was also held.

“Everyone was crying today,” said Addo.

The students were also given the opportunity to write messages for Hardy’s family. A community-wide vigil is planned for Thursday night.

“We’re heartbroken for the family of Nigel,” said Regina Rossall, the superintendent of the Westside Union School District. “There are no words to explain the loss of life of a 13-year-old.”


Missing Palmdale Boy, 13, Commits Suicide After Alleged Bullying

Authorities Search For Missing 13-Year-Old Boy In Palmdale

Comments (7)
  1. rjconroy51 says:

    Reblogged this on rjconroy51 and commented:
    This is one of the hardest things to deal with in today’s world. A lot of people do not understand male cheerleaders, so they tend to be outcast from other males. Truth be told, there isn’t much difference between male cheerleaders and male athletes. It is just a team sport as any other, which requires timing and teamwork. Young women trust their lives to these young men to be held in the air.

    Being a male cheerleader, at first I was teased. I started cheerleading my freshman year in college while playing for the university football team. Those guys didn’t understand. Cheerleading has helped me gain admission into a great university, complete my undergraduate degree and helped me gain admission into a graduate school. It can open many doors for males.

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