Huntsville teen who died by suicide was previously a student in the Florence City Schools system

A Huntsville High School freshman, Nigel Shelby, took his own life on April 18th.

Posted: Apr. 24, 2019 4:44 PM
Updated: Apr. 25, 2019 8:24 AM

A Huntsville teen who took his own life was previously a student in Florence City Schools.

Huntsville High School freshman Nigel Shelby took his own life on April 18. Shelby's family told WAAY 31 he was gay and bullied at school. They also said he struggled with depression and had sought treatment.

On Wednesday, the Shoals Diversity Center held an LGBTQ teen support group meeting in the wake of Shelby's death. The president of the group, Rebecca Lopez, said their goal is to show support and give students a space they feel comfortable speaking in. They had two counselors on hand for the meeting.

WAAY 31 reached out to Florence City Schools Superintendent Jimmy Shaw who said Shelby was a student in the Florence City Schools system within the last year before transferring to Huntsville City Schools.

Shaw said when they learned of his death, they had extra counselors on hand to help students. Shoals LGBTQ groups said they are shaken by Shelby's death and hope they can open up a dialogue with community members and school systems about raising awareness on suicide rates among LGBTQ teens.

The Shoals Diversity Center hosts monthly support group meetings, but said after learning of Shelby's death, they wanted to hold another meeting to give students a chance to express how they feel.

Lopez said they want every teen to know they are loved and they do matter.

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