WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Indiana mother Candy Beard says bullying drove her son to consider suicide. If she hadn't listened to his cries for help, she's not sure what would have happened.
It all started with a note from her son Chris when he was in the 7th grade.
"He said, 'Mom, please don't ever make me go back to school again,'" Candy says. "When I went to his room, he confided in me that they wanted him to do the whole world a favor and just kill himself."
Those words from cut straight to his mother's heart. When he said he was thinking about it, she took him out of school the next day. That thought gets her choked up.
"To think that I was this close to losing him," Candy says. "It made all the difference."
She says the bullying of Chris began years earlier when he was in the first grade. Her attempts to get teachers and administrators to do something, just didn't seem to work.
Her book titled "Please Don't Do That" started as a gift to express to Chris her love and understanding of his situation.
"But when I started sharing it with some other people, they loved it and thought I should get it published," she adds.
But that was just the beginning.
She has since written a series of three books centered on a girl named Cheyenne who deals with bullying and other teen issues.
She then wrote a script for a short film about bullying titled "Eli and Jonah" that was produced in 2010 by a private high school in Los Angeles. A second film was also written and produced later.
Each creation isn't easy.
"It's somewhat painful, but it had to be done," she says.
Chris is now 21. He was homeschooled from 7th grade on.
Candy says the side effects of bullying are still with the family. There are no prom pictures, no memories of walking across stage in front of a crowd to get a diploma.
"Bullies stole that from us and I don't think they realize what they steal from them and their families," she says.
Her advice for victims? Don't be ashamed. Nobody should go to school being afraid every day. Ask for help from teachers, counselors and parents.
For parents, she says don't take no for an answer and fight for your kids.
"If you think your child is getting bullied at school, you have to take them seriously," Candy says. "You have to listen to them."
Candy hopes others listen or read about her family's story, so that no one else has to be as close to losing a loved one as she was.
"If I can touch a few lives, that's important," she says.
Candy says she's always willing to interact with parents or kids about her story either through Facebook or email. Click here to connect to her website with links where you can watch the full " Eli and Jonah" movie as well buy one of her books through Amazon:
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