In 2009, Samantha Kuberski arrived home from school one day with her three sisters. After arguing with her mother, Samantha was sent to her room while threatening to kill herself. No one took Samantha seriously but she went to her room, crawled into an unused crib, wrapped a belt around her neck and the other end on the bar in the crib, and hung herself. Samantha was a 6 year old 1st grader, beautiful and bright, and with her future ahead of her. She was the youngest child recorded to commit suicide in America.
Drayke Hardman was born to his loving parents on May 26th, 2009. Drayke was incredibly loved by his family, he loved sports and had such a kind spirit. Drayke just wanted to be friends with everyone. Drayke had the biggest, bluest eyes. Sadly, Drayke had been experiencing bullying at school. His bully would pick on Drayke for every little thing, but despite this, Drayke desperately tried to be his bully’s friend. His school and parents were aware, and his bully had been previously suspended for attacking Drayke. On Monday, Drayke had come home with a black eye, he confided in his sister that his bully had hurt him. Two days later, on February 9th, 2022 Drayke’s older sister found him hanging with his favorite hoodie from his bunk bed. Drayke’s father immediately started CPR until paramedics took over and after 15 minutes his heart started beating, but the damage had already been done. On February 10th, 2022 Drayke passed away surrounded by his family. He was 12 years old.
A child under the age of 12 years old commits suicide every 5 days in America. Bullying is the #1 problem in schools today with administration and parents at a loss on ways of prevention. Gabriel Taye (8), Razy Sellars (11), Jamel Myles (9), Stormiyah Denson-Jackson (12), and Carl Walker Hoover (11) were all different victims to bullying, under the age of twelve years old, who committed suicide.
Signs to look for to prevent suicide in children:
- Change in behavior or loss of interest
- Significant mood changes
- Drop in academic performance
- Changes in eating habits
- Writing or drawing about death
- Recently experience of loss or trauma
- Self injury of their bodies
Schools, parents, and teachers must be relentless in their discipline of bullying so that it stops. They must also create an awareness for risks of suicide, an awareness of signs to look for. Discuss problems with children and offer solutions that give them hope and create an action plan to change the environment they are in that could be creating suicidal ideation. Let’s also raise Warriors who are resilient and who can defend those around them who are hurting and needing help. It will take a collaboration in every community for progress to be made.
Ginger Turner is the Founder and Director of Warriors for God Ministry. She has a Master’s Degree from Liberty University in Marriage and Family Therapy, is a Board Certified Mental Health Coach, and a Christian Life Coach. Ginger, her husband, and three children reside in the Hill Country of Texas where she teaches and counsels couples, young children, and teenagers. Her focus is on enriching marriages and families, suicide awareness, and coaching the community on Whole Body Wellness. Ginger loves the Lord and lives every day for Him, serving Him in whatever capacity He sets on her path.