Name: Maxwell Webb
Died: September 30, 2013
Age at death: 16
Cause of death: Suicide (Hanging)
Location:Independence, Kansas, USA
Maxwell Webb was a brilliant teen who loved to learn, especially about science. He had an outgoing personality–he was one of those people who everyone seemed to know. He grew prize-winning pumpkins, and every fall festival, he would sell the seeds. One year at the fall festival, he wore a T-shirt that said “LIFE” and handed out lemons to the crowd.
Maxwell was bullied at school all during his sophomore year. He talked to his father about the problem, and his father advised him to write a report about what had happened. When Maxwell did this and handed it in to the school leaders, they threw it away in front of him, claiming, “Nobody is complaining but you.”
Maxwell wasn’t the only one being bullied at school; in fact, he often stood up for other children who were also being bullied. In February of his sophomore year, Maxwell dropped out of school. His meltdowns intensified. He was diagnosed with “mental abuse by bullying”.
But Maxwell, who loved learning, didn’t give up on school after dropping out. Instead, he earned his GED and started taking classes at a junior college. As usual, he made straight A’s.
Maxwell had trouble recovering from the after-effects of the bullying. He talked about it nearly every day and could not seem to stop re-living it. His father went to the school board and gave an address on bullying–but he was dismissed less than halfway through his speech.
Maxwell hung himself in his family’s garage. He left no note. His father says he wants people to remember Maxwell as “that boy from Independence, Kansas, who tried his hardest to turn life’s lemons into lemonade.”