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15-Year-Old Jadin Bell, Targeted By Bullies, Is Dead

15-Year-Old Jadin Bell, Targeted By Bullies, Is Dead

Will these tragedies never end?

On January 19, Jadin Bell, a sophomore at La Grande High School in Oregon, went to his local elementary school and tried to commit suicide by hanging himself from playground equipment.

Can you imagine how he must have been feeling, to even consider such an action?

A passerby found the teen there, and Jadin was rushed to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland and put on life support, where he was monitored for the next couple days. Last weekend, when doctors found little brain activity, his family decided to take him off life support.

The town of La Grande has seen two such suicides in the last three months. Last October, a 16-year-old girl killed herself, and now there’s Jadin Bell.

His family is convinced that the youngster was driven to take his own life because he was bullied both in person and on the internet for being gay. Apparently, Jadin had asked his parents to home school him because he was afraid that he would make things worse for himself if he turned in the bullies; officials at his school say they were in the process of investigating when Jadin chose to end his life.

The Daily Mail reports:

‘He was different, and they tend to pick on the different ones,’ family friend Bud Hill told KOMO News.

‘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,’ Hill added. ‘He just had a gift.’

Hundreds of students had turned out to honor Bell, a sophomore at La Grande High School, at a vigil last week while he was still fighting for his life in the hospital.

‘Jadin is one of the best people I have ever met,’ LHS junior Frankie Benitez told the La Grande Observer. ‘He makes everyone around him feel good all the time.’

His mother told the Observer that she appreciated the outpouring of support.

‘We always knew that Jadin is a special person,’ she said. ‘Now everyone knows.’

160,000.

That’s the number of children that miss school every day in the U.S. out of fear of being bullied. And a growing number of these commit suicide.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.

One of the worst examples of refusal to face reality came a few years ago in the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota. After nine student suicides in one year, the superintendent first declared that the district was not at fault.

Months later, following a lawsuit, the Anoka-Hennepin School Board voted to repeal a long-held policy that prohibited discussion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the classroom and replaced it with a policy that directed district staff to “affirm the dignity and self-worth of all students,” including those who are LGBT.

As a high school teacher, I am both saddened and outraged by the continuing number of teenage suicides that occur after incidents of bullying. I didn’t receive any official anti-bullying training in my education classes, but I have to handle related incidents almost every day. We teachers must be proactive in dealing with bullying immediately.

But it’s not only teachers: schools, parents, communities, must all come together to talk about teenage bullying and suicide. We must not be afraid to talk about it, and we must not be afraid to denounce bullying when we see it.

The Daily Mail reports that Jadin’s mother had this message for her son’s bullies:

The next time you are thinking of being unkind to someone, think to yourself, “If that person was a member of your family, would you want them treated like that?” Don’t treat them like that.

 

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please remember that there is help.
The following national hotlines are free and confidential, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

The Trevor Project
24/7 Suicide Hotline for GLBTQI Youth
1-866-4-U-Trevor
www.thetrevorproject.org

USA National Suicide Prevention Hotline
24/7, Free & Confidential
1-800-SUICIDE
www.hopeline.com

Related Care2 Coverage

5 Teens Speak Out About Suicide (Video Slideshow)

Nine Suicides In One Year, But Not Our Fault, Says School District

Bullying A Factor In Autistic Teen’s Suicide

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Photo Credit: screenshot from KATU.com video

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569 comments

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11:56PM PDT on Sep 6, 2013

Heartbreaking tragedy...

11:55PM PDT on Sep 6, 2013

Heartbreaking tragedy...

8:00AM PDT on Aug 9, 2013

Not only should there be a class at school, and individual classes, but parents start at home with teaching your children that bullying is not okay, and the aftermaths of people and children lives who were bullied!

9:27PM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

How about classes *not only* to teaching kids not to be such harassing, vicious pricks to one another, but also offer classes (or individualized counseling) for those experiencing bullying to learn how to cope with situations and defend themselves more effectively.
The "old ways" we were taught on how to deal with taunts and harassment were never effective in the first place, and now they're simply outdated as well. We were told to walk away and tell a teacher, kill the enemy with kindness, or to respond by saying "grow up". None of that ever worked, and never will.
The torment doesn't end when you go home anymore though. Enter: teh interwebz.
I know it would've been great for Me to learn how to smartly counter-attack bullies and receive USEFUL support from others in My situation. Reporting the abuse doesn't usually stop any of it. The bully's will just use that as more ammunition.

What I don't understand about Jadin's case is the large showing of supporters, friends, and admirers he had suddenly acquired AFTER hanging himself.
Where were these people when he was being tormented and bullied?
He had no one to stand up for him before, why did he have to die in order to receive compassion and respect?

9:16AM PDT on Jun 5, 2013

While that is some thoughtful advice my credentials on this subject contain that I have lost a daughter to suicide and she was bullied. The bullying happened when she was twelve and she killed herself at age nineteen. As for fighting as much as I tell myself I'm not going to get into anymore fights that just doesn't work for me. I hate fighting but I hate backing down more. I'm at a point now where I go at a person but don't hit back which is along the line of thought of asking myself which is worse, whatever another could do to me or the fear of what another could do to me?

Bullying is part of our everyday lives. What I seen happen to my daughter was she lost trust in other human beings. I spent seven years trying to encourage her to live and she left how she seen her life unfold in writing so in combing that with my input into writing I confidently believe in not fighting the bullying in any way but build up especially our children's characters by earning their trust and respect so they can feel secure to turn to us instead of being intimated by bullying.

As a society we seem to complicate more then simplify. By that I mean instead of fighting nightmares create dreams to shoot for with not only our children but everybody in our lives.

4:46AM PDT on Jun 5, 2013

Thanks Ken. The bad part is that I forgot Care2 won't post more than a certain number of characters so here is the rest of my post:

(hint: it's to AVOID fighting). Teach them that when they see an injustice, no matter what it is, to speak out and act out against it, even in the face of danger to themselves.

Teach them that words are some of the most powerful things that exist, and can be even more powerful that a punch or kick. Teach them critical thinking, as well as how to speak, read and write properly so they can be understood and how to use these tools to change things for the better.

Which reminds me, for cripes sake, teach them to read. Don't believe that any child is too young to begin learning to read and don't wait for some school to teach them. My parents read to me since I was 2 and I was reading Lord Of The Rings by 5. I have an IQ of 160 and I've read over 1000 books in my lifetime. You can't teach a child to have a high IQ but you can teach them how to use what they have to their best ability.

You may be thinking, how do I do all of this? How do I teach my children something like "be kind to everyone, even when that person is cruel to you?" The best way is to lead by example.

If you are kind, if you are compassionate, if you are thoughtful, if you stand strong in the face of violence, calm in the face of humiliation, tough in the face of malevolence, your children will be too.

10:29PM PDT on Jun 4, 2013

Colin W you said some important things,and i dont think its gonna change anytime soon with the way we go about living.I VERY rarely give a green star,but i think you deserve one for your words!

Nonya B i think what you say is true for many kids,parents need to get more into being a family........although as well i think many parents do spend time with their kids,i think being a parent has changed,although i've never been a parent, i think the way we look at the world has changed,and mostly not for the good but i hope i am wrong.People always seem to be looking for the next bigger n better thrill buzz and never remaining quiet long enough to really take in their environment.

7:50AM PDT on Jun 4, 2013

Let's be honest here people. Bullying isn't some situation that exists separate of any other problem. Bullying is an intrinsic part of the human condition. Until society improves in the categories of anger, fear, hatred, cruelty, and other negative emotions bullying isn't going to change much,

Sure there are ways to teach children how to neutralize the effects of these negative emotions but do you really think that a parent who enjoys belittling someone is going to teach their children anything other than that? There is always going to be the Alpha dog and the Beta dog, and the Alpha is always going to try to dominate by whatever means they see fit.

The best way to stop bullying is to teach your children things like how to be kind, not just to other people but animals AND plants as well (hint: eating animals is not kind to them, cutting down trees to put up factories either). Also, teach them how to be alone and how to be quiet. As in, how to play by themselves and invent their own fun, and how to have a quiet and ordered mind. Teach them that all this garbage on TV about "fashion" and "go for yours, get money" and all that other selfishness is the WORST thing they can possibly buy into. Teach them that charity for charity's sake is one of the most rewarding things

Teach them that violence is not the answer, and take them to lessons in a martial art, preferably taught by someone who understands what the REAL purpose of the martial arts is (hint: it's to AVOID fighti

11:00AM PDT on May 8, 2013

so sad. people who choose to make other people feel bad on purpose? they are scum, plain and simple

6:16AM PDT on Apr 27, 2013

Why can't respect exist?

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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