Iowa Mother Says Son Was Bullied Before Suicide

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By Richard Pratt

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa (AP) — The mother of a central Iowa high school student says her son attempted suicide after being bullied.

The Des Moines Register reports Alexander Betts Jr. attempted to kill himself Friday. He remains Monday on life support at Blank Children's Hospital so his organs can be donated.

Sheryl Moore says she believes her son attempted suicide because of bullying he experienced for being gay. Friends say Betts was constantly ridiculed because he was gay, half African-American and born with a cleft lip.

Moore says she wants to use her son's experience to educate people about bullying.

Steve Pettit, principal at Southeast Polk High School, says he could not say if Betts had reported being bullied. Pettit says the school takes such incidents seriously and has procedures for such allegations.
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