Parents say bullied son 'hit his breaking point'

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 11:52 PM

McKINNEY — The parents of a teenager who posted an online threat against his high school say he had been bullied almost non-stop since third grade.

They don't excuse his actions, but they want you to know the rest of the story.

The words are dark and chilling. On Facebook, a 16-year-old junior at McKinney Boyd High School laid out in detailed terms how easy it would be to shoot and kill people at his school.

Within an hour of posting the rant, police were at his home.

The student's parents spoke with News 8, but asked that their identities be concealed to protect their son.

They were watching the presidential debate on Monday night when their son came downstairs, clearly agitated, they said.

"He was manic; just bouncing off the walls," the boy's father described. They sent him back to his room, not knowing what he had just done online.

"Then I heard voices outside," the father said. McKinney police officers were there, after someone tipped them off to the Facebook post.

When police and the parents went to the boy's bedroom, they found him on the phone. "He had called 911," said his mother. "He said he wanted to hurt himself and he had taken pills."

"This was his second suicide attempt," his father added.

The boy had taken a bottle of anxiety medication, but was physically OK. He was taken away in an ambulance.

His parents were shocked by the words he had written.

"He is not a violent individual, so to have him post details of how to hurt another person as he did is completely out of character for him," said his mother. "It is not who he is."

"We believe he just hit a breaking point," she added.

The couple said their son has been almost constantly bullied since the third grade. They said they since learned he had been bullied again on Monday afternoon, hours before the online posting.

The boy is on the autism spectrum, has severe anxiety, and is openly bisexual, according to his parents.

They said the school's response and the police reaction was proper, because "we know he wouldn't follow through on those words," said his mother, "but others don't know that."

Students at the high school told News 8 they had witnessed this young man being bullied. The school district said that will be part of the investigation, but that every threat must be taken seriously — especially one that is so specific.

His parents are not excusing their son's behavior, "but I want to stress it was a last ditch effort to use words to defend himself," said his mother. "He cannot physically fight back, so he chose a terrible method of fighting back with words."

Their son is not yet charged with anything. He is in treatment.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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