Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old student from Tehachapi, Californian died yesterday following over a week on life support after he hung himself from a tree in his back yard.
The teenager was allegedly gay and had been bullied in school for several weeks prior to taking his own life. Walsh is the third youth to have died by suicide this month because of anti-gay bullying that went unaddressed at school.
Officials at the Tehachapi police department said last Friday that detectives and school resource officers were investigating the incident.
Leaving three siblings behind, aged 11, 17 and 18, Seth died on Tuesday at the Kern Medical Centre surrounded by his family.
Speaking to the Tehachapi News, his grandmother Judy Walsh said that the family was not faced with the tough decision of turning off his life support,
“He died as of yesterday afternoon,” Judy Walsh said, "He passed away in a natural death. He is in the process of being an organ donor.”
A memorial service has been scheduled for this Friday at the Tehachapi First Baptist Church. His grandmother said that the memorial service will be a celebration of Seth’s life. “We are trying to keep it more positive,” she said.
“He was different. He knew he was different,” she said. “He was a very loving boy, very kind. He had a beautiful smile. He liked fashion, his friends, talking on the phone. He was artistic and very bright.”
The teenager’s grandmother acknowledged the community had been very supportive during the past week. “People have been so incredibly kind,” she said, acknowledging the Golden Hills Salon, where Seth's mother Wendy Walsh is employed.
A YouTube video tribute to Seth Walsh described him as “The best person ever”, and warns viewers "don’t ever bully again”.
A statement released by the Walsh family said: "A negative action ... by adults and children ... will not solve or help anyone! Violence is not the answer! Please everyone, be kind and love one another!"