Nigel Shelby, a 15-year-old Alabama student, took his own life after being hit with constant homophobic bullying on Thursday (April 18), and stars like Justin Bieber have weighed in on the devastating loss.
On Tuesday (April 24), the pop titan took to Instagram to honor the late student, writing, "This is horrible. I hate this with a passion.. stop the hatred please! I don’t understand how people can be so ignorant and hateful Please repost! #repost." Bieber's wife, Hailey Baldwin, also chimed in on the news, leaving three broken heart emojis in the comment section of the post.
Speaking with NBC News, his mother, Camika Shelby, had nothing but sweet words to share about her son following his death. "He was just special," she said. “Nigel was the sweetest child. He was so outgoing. He was always full of joy, full of light. . .Coming out at such a young age, it can be hard. You never know if you’re going to be accepted. He didn’t know if I was going to accept it — that’s my child. I love him. I already knew."
Elsewhere in the interview, Camika recalled the last moments that she spent with her son the evening before he passed away. "He told me, 'Mom I’m going to do better in school.' He kissed me on my cheek and told me that he loved me. . .That was the last conversation that I had with my baby. When I got up to go to work the next morning, he was still asleep, so I didn’t even get to talk to him anymore." When Camika returned home around 6 PM that day, she found him dead.
Shelby's school, Huntsville High School, released a statement on the loss, writing, "Our sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with Nigel’s family. Parents, please talk to your students about Nigel’s death. Know and be aware of changes in your child. Talk to them about what they see, words they speak and actions they can take to make a difference. We must be better."
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