Funeral For Sioux Falls Teen Victim Of Bullying
Last Tuesday, 16 year-old Derrick Kester of Sioux Falls took his own life. Derrick was a target of bullying. Derrick's funeral service will be held today at Community Reformed Church.
Derrick's mother, Tabatha Welsh, is speaking out about her son's suicide! "You know it doesn't matter if you're on Facebook or Twitter---bullying is still there. Words will always cut more and hurt more than any physical actions. But, verbal putdowns leave a lasting mark. My son had a bad struggle. We thought we were on the right track to get it turned around. I guess I didn't look deep enough myself."
Tabatha says young people sent mixed messages to Derrick. "They would tell him one minute---'Oh Derrick, I love you---you're sweet. He'd say something funny. Then they would say 'I hate you. You would be better off gone.' That's what sent my son over the edge."
Instead of lashing out at the people that taunted him, Derrick responded with forgiveness. "Derrick had the ability to forgive those who bullied him no matter how much it hurt."
There is a memorial fund set up to help the family with Derrick's funeral costs. You can donate at any Wells Fargo branch for the Derrick Kester Memorial Fund.