Fife schoolboy, 14, dies in wake of school bullying claims

A 14-year-old schoolboy has died just weeks after he made YouTube videos complaining about a culture of bullying at his school and revealing he was gay.

Liam McAlpine was found dead on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Contributed
Liam McAlpine was found dead on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Contributed

Liam McAlpine, a pupil at Glenrothes High School, Fife, was found dead at a home on Sunday afternoon.

It is not clear how Liam died but police are looking at the possibility it is linked to prescriptions drugs in circulation at a number of schools in the area.

There is widespread online speculation that Liam may have taken his own life as a result of bullying. In a separate video, also recorded last month, he came out as gay and anticipated ridicule from some classmates.

Fife Council have refused to comment on any aspect of Liam’s death. Police Scotland yesterday confirmed his death was being treated as “unexplained”.

Heartfelt tributes have been left over social media by family and friends following news of the teenager’s death.

A statement from his family issued yesterday said: “We as a family are devastated by the loss of our beloved son, grandson, nephew and brother.”

Last month, Liam uploaded a video to YouTube entitled Bullying.

In it, he talks about his own experience of dealing with bullies and urges others to talk to those around them to help them through difficult situations. He urges them to speak to teachers, friends and family or police officers about their issues.

He says: “You don’t go to school to get bullied everyday. You go to learn. School is meant to be a safe place but getting bullied everyday and picked on, is that really safe?”

He also says Glenrothes High School need to “get their act together and get this bullying sorted.”

In a separate upload also last month, titled: “Coming out,” Liam revealed he was gay and predicted a backlash from his fellow pupils.

In the clip he says: “For three years I have been gay. Go ahead and judge me, I don’t care.

“I know folk at school will just say ‘oh haha, you’re gay. I don’t care, go ahead judge me.

“My true friends will stick by me, fake friends will just f**k off and leave me behind.”

On Monday schools across Fife sent out a warning to parents revealing that three different types of prescription drugs were being shared among pupils in the area.

One of the drugs has been revealed as Citalopram which is known to treat depression and according to the NHS has side effects including self harm and suicidal thoughts.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “The death is currently being treated as unexplained.”