A 10-year-old boy died from suicide in Indiana earlier this month after being persistently bullied at school. His parents are left devastated, mourning the loss of their sweet baby, and asking big questions.

Did his teachers do everything in their power to stop the bullying? Did his complaints fall on deaf ears? 

It can be easy to point fingers after an incident such as this. Maybe the school is to blame. His parents claim that the school was aware of the bullying and that they had reported it on at least 20 occasions. The school claims they didn't know anything.

Whatever the case, a child who should be laughing, smiling, and being a kiddo, was so overwhelmed that he took his own life. It's simply tragic.

If you haven't had a sit-down conversation with your kids about bullying, it's time.

Being bullied makes you feel completely isolated and defenseless. Sometimes, reporting a bully at school can make things even worse. There's always a chance the bully could retaliate. I remember reporting a bully to my teacher when I was in the 3rd grade. Instead of talking to them privately, she vocalized her displeasure with their conduct in front of my entire class. Everyone laughed and jeered. The bully grinned as they were scolded. I was mortified. The situation was never resolved. It just got worse. I was so relieved when I went to a different junior high than my bully and finally got away from them. It might have been the reason I chose the school I attended.

It doesn't just happen in elementary schools, either. It happens in the workplace too. Please be sure to set a good example for your children during casual conversations about people in your workplace. Tell them about the importance of conflict resolution. Tell them that standing up for themselves is the right thing to do and that tolerating a bully is unacceptable. Be a safe space for your kids and your co-workers alike by being part of the solution.

To the family and friends of 10-year-old Sammy Teusch, my heart breaks for you all. I hope you find strength and that this tragedy will at least set forth a campaign of kindness and a precedent for others to do more to protect one another from bullying.

We are all we have. Let's take care of each other.

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