Heartbreaking: 10-year-old boy commits suicide after 2 years of relentless physical, verbal bullying

Sammy Teusch — a 10-year-old boy with a huge, infectious grin — was laid to rest this week in his hometown of Greenfield, Indiana.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot, composite

Sammy’s parents said he took his own life on the morning of May 5 — a heartbreaking end after two years of relentless verbal bullying that recently became physical and was just too much for him to bear.

The bullying mostly was over his glasses and his teeth.

‘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 …”‘

“He was my little boy. He was my baby. He was the youngest one,” Sammy’s mom, Nichole Teusch, tearfully told WTHR-TV.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

“I held him in my arms. I did the thing no father should ever have to do, and any time I close my eyes, it’s all I can see,” his dad, Sam Teusch, shared with the station though sobs.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

Sammy’s family told WTHR others bullied him right up to the night before his death, an ordeal that commenced last year in elementary school and continued this year at Greenfield Intermediate School.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

“They were making fun of him for his glasses in the beginning, then on to make fun of his teeth,” his dad noted to the station. “It went on for a long time.”

Then the bullying got physical, WTHR said.

“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,'” Sammy’s dad added to the station.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

He added to WTHR that he contacted the school 20 times about the bullying: “They knew this was going on. They knew this was going on.”

But district Superintendent Harold Olin told the station neither Sammy nor his parents ever submitted a bullying report, and while school administrators and a counselor had regular conversations with the family, he can’t share the content of those conversations.

Sammy’s family explained to WTHR that the bullying reached beyond the school and the bus and found its way to Snapchat, despite Sammy’s parents granting him limited access to his phone.

“‘I’m going to beat you up. I’m going to beat you up when you get to school.’ Saying mean things about his [mom], which would really, really set him off,” Sammy’s dad recounted to the station.

Sadly, in spite of frequent reinforcement from those who love him, Sammy’s family told WTHR he became withdrawn and stopped opening up. They told the station they believe Sammy’s suicide was due to fear of going back to school following an incident in the restroom the prior week and the constant harassment.

Now there is a void in the Teusch home that can never be filled.

“I always tell the kids because Sammy and his sister went to bed first because they were younger, and telling them they had to brush their teeth to get ready for bed and having him not be there to hug before bed,” Sammy’s mom, inconsolable, shared with WTHR.

Word spread about Sammy after his death, and WTHR reported in a follow-up story that more than 100 motorcycle riders drove side-by-side down New Road in Greenfield to Brandywine Church for Sammy’s services earlier this week.

The station said most of the motorcyclists didn’t know Sammy — but were touched by his story.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

In the church’s auditorium, loved ones shared memories of Sammy, the station said, adding that afterward Sammy’s relatives carried his casket out of the church and placed it into a hearse.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

Everything culminated at Greenfield cemetery, where WTHR said Sammy is now at rest.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

The station said Sammy’s family and some of his classmates surrounded his casket as the pastor read a final prayer.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

WTHR said a candlelight vigil is planned for Friday between 8 and 10 p.m. at Depot Park in Greenfield if weather permits.

Help in the face of bullying

The station noted the following resources if you or a child you know is being bullied:

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has
a full bullying resource center. Stomp Out Bullying has resources for parents of children who are being bullied.

Safekids.com has resources
focused on cyberbulling, which can follow kids even outside of school.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. It’s available 24/7.

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1 Comment

  1. Get your kids out of public schools. If your kid is being abused get him out and home school him. The bullies rarely face consequences for their actions and quite frankly the school doesn’t care. If nothing was done by the school after 20 phone calls why would you leave your child in that environment?

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