JOSHUA, Texas -- Pictures in a slide show at the funeral home Wednesday night showed a smiling, sandy-haired boy with round cheeks playing in the snow, posing in sports uniforms and straddling a motorcycle.
That's because Jon Carmichael, 13, was always a happy kid, his friends said.
What the photos didn't show was the despair that led him to take his own life Sunday. Friends and family say he had become the target of bullies at Loflin Middle School.
"Some students would brag about what they did to him because they thought it was funny," said his friend and neighbor Felicity Zaicek, 14. "They put him in trash cans, stripped him down and even put him in a locker once.
"It's not funny."
Carmichael was smaller than some other boys his age, which made him a target for teasing, his family said. An incident Friday during an athletics class may have been the last straw, they said.
"Something has got to be done about this bullying," his aunt Crystal Locke said. "It's just not right. If you don't have the right kind of shoes or jeans or are a little bit different than everybody else, then that's it. They pick on you."
Dozens of students, friends and relatives crowded into the Mountain Valley Funeral Home in Joshua on Wednesday night for the visitation. A Star-Telegram reporter was there with the Carmichael family's permission.
Authorities said Carmichael hanged himself in a barn near his family home on the outskirts of Cleburne.
Read the complete story at star-telegram.com