Mother speaks out after teen’s suicide, hopes his memory spurs change

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WESTFIELD — The mother of a Westfield teen who took his own life last week is speaking out, hoping to save lives in his memory.

Blake Boothe, 14, passed away on March 12.

“Everybody just loved him. They just loved him,” Blake’s mother, Heather Boothe, said.

Blake was artistic, had a unique point of view and is being remembered as the kind of kid who made a big impact on his friends.

Last week, though, the unthinkable happened. Heather said Blake’s suicide came after he was picked on – even bullied – in part because he was openly gay.

“I honestly don’t think that he wanted to commit suicide. I think it was just a split second decision,” Boothe said.

If it wasn’t clear then, it’s clear now how many people loved Blake.

A Facebook page has been created and filled with memories, along with thousands who are lending their support to Blake’s family and friends.

A video on that page shows Blake’s locker at school, filled with messages from fellow students.

Heather is also taking comfort in letters, written by friends and strangers.

“You were such a caring, sweet and silly person who could put a smile on anyone’s face,” one letter’s author said.

Given that support, Boothe is now standing up. She wants others to see Blake’s story and speak up, pay attention and keep another kid from feeling like it’s too much. She hopes to spread that message in Blake’s memory.

“I’m fighting for kids out there that are like my son. This shouldn’t have happened,” Boothe said.

Blake was a student at Westfield Middle School. Fox 59 reached out to the district and was told it has provided crisis counseling to his classmates and passed information on to Westfield Police in his death.

A Westfield Police spokesman told Fox 59 the department conducted a standard death investigation and found no crime connected to his death.

Blake’s family are asking that donations be made in his memory to the It Gets Better Project.

You can find the Facebook page devoted to remembering Blake here.