Bullied Gay Oregon Teen Dies After Attempted Suicide
A 15-year-old teenager who the victim of anti-gay bullying and was taken off life support last week, after he attempted to take his own life, died on Sunday, OregonLive.com reports.
Jadin Bell of La Grande, Ore., was rushed to the hospital after he tried to hang himself at an elementary school playground on Jan. 19. He was initially put on life support but after doctors found there was no brain activity last week, Bell’s family decided to remove him from life support.
Family members say the openly gay teen was the victim of severe anti-gay bullying both in real life and online.
"He was different, and they tend to pick on the different ones," Bud Hill, a family friend who said Bell was like a nephew to him, said. "If someone was down and out he would walk into a room and say a couple quick words and everybody would just forget about their problems and smile. He just had a gift."
The harassment against Bell, a sophomore at La Grande High School, apparently became so severe he even asked his parents to home school him at one point. The La Grande, Ore., school district claims it was in the process of investigating Bell’s accusations of bullying when the teen hanged himself.
While the teen was in the hospital, nearly 200 people attended a vigil fro Bell. Friends, family and classmates remembered the student, who had a passion for cheerleading.
"Jadin is one of the best people I have ever met. He makes everyone around him feel good all the time," Frankie Benitez, a junior at the high school, said. "Jadin always remembers people no matter what," he continued. "If I felt bad, I would hang out with him and he would say something small like, ’I love your sweater.’ He notices things you didn’t think anyone notices."