Alleged Bullying Claims Another Life

September 25, 2011 Updated Sep 25, 2011 at 10:30 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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Alleged Bullying Claims Another Life

September 25, 2011 Updated Sep 25, 2011 at 10:30 AM EDT

Pickering, ONT (WKBW-Courtesy CityTV-Toronto)

The father of an 11-year-old Pickering boy said his son took his own life to escape relentless bullying from his peers.

The day before he was to start Grade 6 two weeks ago, Mitchell Wilson tied a plastic bag around his head and suffocated.

“He was an awesome kid, fun-loving, always had a smile on his face, loved to play practical jokes on people,” said Craig Wilson, Mitchell’s father.

His torment began last fall on a walk he routinely took to slow the decline from muscular dystrophy diagnosed two years ago, just a year after he lost his mother to cancer.

That evening, Mitchell had borrowed his dad’s iPhone so he could listen to music and call home about dinner. A 12-year-old boy jumped him for the phone and slammed his mouth into the pavement, breaking his teeth.

The boy was arrested the next day, charged with assault and robbery and ordered to stay 500 metres away from Mitchell, which he breached at least twice.

After relentless bullying by friends of the alleged thief, Mitchell stopped sleeping and suffered anxiety attacks. He got counselling and was paired with a Grade 8 student to protect him.

He no longer walked alone, and his mobility declined to 20 per cent over the summer.

Then on Labour Day, Mitchell was served with a subpoena to appear in court on Sept. 28 to face the boy accused of robbing him.

He took his life later that night, and his father found him in the morning.

“It’s been a nightmare,” Wilson said. “I wake up every day expecting to find him alive and smiling.”

Mitchell’s principal at Westcreek Public School said the school has gathered a book of condolence for the Wilson family from the students, and he has talked to each class individually.

“It’s been a very sad event for the school,” Keith Wainwright said. “It was a real surprise. Nothing will prepare you for something like this.”

Mitchell’s family has been warned the charges will likely be dropped when the 12-year-old goes to court next week since Mitchell will not be there to identify him. But they will still deliver their victim impact statements in the hope that he will not pick on the vulnerable again.