CHINO HILLS (CBSLA.com) — He was depressed and bullied. Kennedy LeRoy, 16, a high school student in Chino Hills, also had Asperger’s Syndrome.
Most importantly, he carried a pain that was too much for him to endure. Much as he tried.
LeRoy took his own life in his bedroom last Friday.
KCAL9’s Erica Nochlin spoke to the grieving siblings and a father trying to make sense of the tragedy.
Chris LeRoy choked back tears as he read from Kennedy’s two-page suicide note.
“One of the biggest reasons why I killed myself is to prevent suicides,” Kennedy wrote.
“I want to prevent anyone I can from hurting,” he added. The teen believed his death would make bullies think twice about their actions.
Kennedy said he endured endless bullying in school. He was a sophomore at Ayala High School.
“We thought we were doing the best we could, the school thought they were doing the best we could, we can’t fault them,” said Kennedy’s father.
Kennedy’s parents said the school administrators even had Kennedy and the bully sign a “No Contact Contract,” but Kennedy wrote in his note that the bullying continued.
“He said he would lie through his teeth so we wouldn’t know,” said Chris. “The bullying was constant.”
His family says Kennedy’s bouts with depression and dealing with Asperger’s also contributed to his death.
Nochlin reports the family is dealing with unimaginable pain and loss.
“It’s hard; I was really close to my little brother,” says sister Kaelyn.
The family is hoping that Kennedy’s death will help other kids in crisis.
In his letter he wrote, “Words can hurt as much as, if not more than, physical blows.”
The LeRoys want to reach out to kids who are bullied: Suicide is not the way to handle it.
“This is not the solution because you miss out on so much more to life,” says his brother Kent.
“If his death could save somebody else, that’s what he was looking for,” says Kennedy’s father.
Grief counselors were made available at Kennedy’s high school this week.
A youth group held a prayer service in his honor Thursday evening.
[Editor’s Note: A national 24/7 suicide prevention lifeline is a phone call away. Call 1-800-273-TALK or 8255.)