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Family Blames Bullying for Son's Suicide

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Eleven-year-old Ty Field shot himself Thursday. Ty's family said they believe bullying led their son to suicide. Eleven-year-old Ty Field shot himself Thursday. Ty's family said they believe bullying led their son to suicide.
Ty's father, Kirk Smalley, said he wants to use his family's tragic loss to speak out against bullying in hopes of saving someone else's child. Ty's father, Kirk Smalley, said he wants to use his family's tragic loss to speak out against bullying in hopes of saving someone else's child.

By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma father is grieving the loss of his 11-year-old son who committed suicide last week. Kirk Smalley said he believes his son took his life due to being bullied at school.

Ty Field shot himself Thursday—the same day he was suspended from school for fighting.

"We're in a parent's nightmare. We lost our baby. It's not supposed to happen. They're supposed to put you in the ground," Smalley said.

Smalley said he believes Ty was sticking up for himself to the young boy who had bullied him all year long.

"I think he was tired of fighting it. I don't think he had anything left in him," Smalley said.

Smalley said his wife had complained to the school but got nowhere.

"She's talked to the school a lot and the most answers we usually got were, 'Boys will be boys,'" Smalley said.

Smalley said he and his family are now committed to speaking about bullying in hopes of saving someone else's child.

"My wife and I are adamant. Something needs to be done. If you're being bullied find help. Don't be afraid to talk about it," Smalley said.

Smalley said he's already been contacted by a filmmaker who's working on a documentary about children who commit suicide after being bullied. He said he and his wife plan to help in any way they can.

The superintendent of Perkins Schools, where Ty attended sixth grade, said there's no indication the bullying occurred. However, Superintendent James Ramsey said he didn't know if any complaints were made to the principal's office.

The principal was unavailable for comment Wednesday morning.  

Ramsey said the district is providing grief counseling for staff and students in light of the student's tragic death.

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