Name: Thomas Thompson
Died: July 2, 2003
Age at death: 11
Cause of death: Suicide
Location: Wallasey, England, UK
For years, Thomas Thompson was relentlessly bullied at school.
Thomas was undiagnosed, but he may have had Asperger Syndrome and certainly had some autistic traits. He "was a highly articulate child, well-spoken, and without the usual local slur… easier with adults than children." According to his eight-year-old sister Alexandra, Thomas could be "annoying", and his mother and grandmother speak of his "inability to act like a child" and his "passionate interest" in politics.
His mother says he "loved to have conversations, but you couldn't talk about something silly. He always wanted to know adult stuff, and sometimes I didn't have the answers. He was constantly asking about the war with Iraq, and wanting to know the ins and outs of what countries had been attacked in the past." He often spoke of his future, and couldn't wait to learn to drive and go to college. Thomas was an anti-war crusader who participated in rallies and gave speeches. His grandmother believes that had he grown up, he "would probably have gone on to be a politician or a campaigner for human rights," and the anti-war rallies were the only place where he had gone where no one had called him names or attacked him physically.
Thomas survived years of severe bullying. His mother reports that "if he walked out the front door you could guarantee that someone would get at him", and his primary school teacher calls him "one of the most courageous boys he'd ever met" just for surviving years of bullying. He was attacked physically and verbally and at one point strangled with his own necktie. Though he tried to protect himself by giving cigarettes to the bullies, Thomas only found the abuse worsening as he entered secondary school. On the day he died, Thomas was bullied so badly on the school bus that he asked to be let off the bus.
At age 11, Thomas took his own life by overdosing on painkillers.
Death of a Schoolboy