A 10-year-old New York school student was reportedly so scared of his bully that he pleaded with his family to let him stay home before he killed himself.
Gianlukas “Lukas” Illescas, a student at the Hillcrest Elementary School in Peekskill, New York, was allegedly bullied for months while district officials “didn’t have time” to address the issue, his dad, Christian Illescas, claimed during an emotional school boarding meeting on Tuesday.
According to Fox News, Illescas said he asked district administrators and social workers for help multiple times because his son was scared to go to school for the last six months, according to a report by News12 Westchester.
“Look! Look!” Illescas yelled at the board members while holding a picture of his son on his phone. “You didn’t have time? Five minutes. I don’t know how you can sleep. I don’t know how.” Illescas said in a GoFundMe post that his son was “robbed of his future” because of the district’s neglect.
“Bullying is responsible for the death of a 10-year-old child!” Illescas wrote. “He will never get to graduate with his friends, make memories alongside his family, and have a life full of choices and adventure! His family and friends are heartbroken and beyond devastated.”
Lukas was “relentlessly bullied by one child,” his dad told ABC News. Before that, he said his son loved to swim and was a “happy, engaging, energetic boy” who loved his family and life at home. Tragically, Lukas reportedly took his life about two weeks ago.
“I have nothing to lose,” Illescas told ABC News. “My son is gone, so all I want right now is justice for other kids.” The school district and city of Peekskill, which is a suburb about 45 minutes north of Manhattan, released identical statements Tuesday afternoon that said the police are investigating.
“On behalf of the City of Peekskill, I want to express our condolences on the recent passing of a Hillcrest Elementary School student. Our hearts and prayers are with the family,” the district said.
“Let us all unite as a community like we always do and support this family in its time of need.” However, the reactionary approach is too little, too late for many supporters, who protested and packed Tuesday’s meeting.