A small town in Indiana is grieving the loss of a 10-year-old boy after he took his own life on May 5th, 2024. The boy’s father, Sam Teusch of Greenfield, IN, woke up to find that his son, Sammy Teusch, had committed suicide. Sammy’s 13-year-old brother, Xander, discovered Sammy in his bedroom. “He’ll be good until it’s time to go to bed. When it gets quiet in the house and everything settles down … that’s the roughest time,” Sam said of how Xander is dealing with making the discovery. “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,” said Sam of finding his son.

The family reports that Sammy was the victim of bullying for months and that they had contacted the Greenfield-Central Community School system over 20 times to complain. According to Sam, the night Sammy took his own life, a bully had allegedly called him to say he was going to be beat up the next day. Sammy’s parents state that not long before his death, Sammy had been attacked on the school bus, being smacked in the head with an iPad. He had also recently been cornered in the school bathroom. The bullying had been going on for over a year according to the family, with little response from the school. “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. He was beat up on the school bus, and the kids broke his glasses and everything, and I called the school, and I’m like, ‘What are you doing about this? It keeps getting worse, and worse, and worse. And it’s not getting any better. In fact, it’s getting worse,’” Sam recalled. “There needs to be action,” he said. “There needs to be accountability. There needs to be something that shows these defenseless children that even if you feel like there isn’t someone at home to talk to or take care of, there are thousands of people out there that want to hear your voice. I want his image to be a source of empowerment for children who feel like they can’t come to someone and speak.”

Sammy’s funeral was May 15th. “How could God take my kid from here? Of course that was going through my head. God didn’t take my kid; hate did,” said his father. Sammy’s death is currently under investigation by the Hancock County Prosecutor, Brent Eaton, with the possibility of there being criminal charges. As any charges may involve children, very little information from the investigation may be available to the public. Superintendent of schools, Dr. Harold Olin, stated the family never submitted a bullying report but did confirm that the school administrators and counselors had regular contact with the family throughout the last year. Greenfield-Central Community Schools released a statement, calling Sammy’s death “tragic.” After describing the level of support the community and school was offering, the statement went on to relate the school’s contact with the family, and its intention to cooperate with authorities. “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. Beyond our own investigations we are cooperating with the Greenfield Police Department in this matter. 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 Greenfield Police Department encouraged parents to discuss bullying with their children and to encourage children to make their parents aware of any incidents. Please pray for the Teusch family as they deal with this tragedy.

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