A Utah family is reeling this week after the sudden death of their 12-year-old son at the hands of bullies.
(Trigger Warning: Details of suicide below).
Drayke Hardman was found in his bedroom on February 10th after using his favorite hoodie to hang himself from his bunk bed.
In a now-viral Instagram post, which has been liked nearly 2.8 million times, Drayke’s mom Samie Hardman shared photos of her son at a local hospital following his suicide attempt. He died the next morning.
“This…. This is the result of bullying,” she captioned the photo last week. “My handsome boy was fighting a battle that not even I could save him [from]. It is real, it is silent and there is nothing absolutely nothing as a parent you can do to take this deep hurt away. There are no signs, only hurtful words of others that ultimately stole our Drayke from this cruel place.”
View this post on Instagram
“To know Drayke was to love him,” she continued. “He had a fire that lit for people, his witty personality and those baby blue eyes won over the world.”
She thanked the overwhelming amount of people following Drayke’s story for their messages and support. Samie closed her post by writing, “Teach kindness and #doitfordrayke.
A public viewing for Drayke is set to be held this Friday.
Parents Speak Up
As millions of people across the country learn more about the tragedy of Drayke’s story, moms everywhere are calling on parents to step up when it comes to ending bullying.
Amber Vaughan, a photographer and blogger out of Phoenix, Arizona, shared a powerful post, and it’s a must-read for all parents. The widow of suicide and survivor of domestic violence is calling on parents everywhere to change the narrative.
“Let me introduce you to Drayke Hardman.
He was 12 years old.
This week, he hung himself with his favorite hoodie from his bunk bed.
His bunk bed.
‘Children are resilient’
They are people.
They have huge feelings and minimal coping skills, because THEY ARE BABIES.
It’s our job to change the narrative.
It starts with us, as parents.
It stops with us, as parents.
His story is here.
Let it break your heart.
Let it change you.
Let it change all of us.
We have to do better.
Please, stop right now and talk to your kids.
Parents, let’s commit ourselves to teaching kindness. Drayke’s death was completely preventable. It starts in our homes. It starts with us.
Let’s teach kindness, and let’s BE kind.
I pray that you share Drayke’s story with your kids today. Use it as an opportunity to talk to your kids about suicide, bullying, and the need to treat others with kindness, always.
It could be what saves another child’s life.
Do it for Drayke.