In the town of La Grande, Ore. a 16-year-old girl killed herself in October and now there’s a 15-year-old boy who is not expected to live after hanging himself. His family said he was the target of bullying.... Dozens of people came together last week in La Grande in a vigil for Jadin Bell, trying to understand what drove him to despair nine days ago. He came to the playground of Central Elementary School in La Grande. He climbed on a play structure and hanged himself. Someone passing by tried to rescue him. He was brought to Portland and Doernbecher Children's Hospital where he was put on life support.... Hill says Jadin was pushed to suicide after being bullied in person and on the Internet for being gay. "He was different, and they tend to pick on the different ones," Hill said. Hill says Jadin asked his parents to home school him. He feared turning in the bullies would make things worse.
My heart breaks for Jadin's parents and I don't doubt that they're filled with regret and I don't want to make their pain worse. But I'm going to repost my advice for parents of bullied gay teenagers because there are other Jadins out there who haven't harmed themselves but who may be at risk of doing so:
If you know your gay kid is being bullied at his school err on the side of overreacting. Err on the side of doing something drastic. Err on the side of turning your own life upside down. Because you don't want to find out the abuse was more than your kid could bear when it's too fucking late to do anything about it.
Straight parents: If you know your gay kid is being brutalized in his school and you've complained and it's gotten worse, get him the fuck out of there. Homeschool him. Homeschool him and sue the school. Move away. Move someplace more tolerant. Move someplace better. If you can't move away—or if you can't move right away—send your son or daughter to live with relatives in another city, a better city.... And straight parents? Once you realize your kid is gay—which parents of gay kids usually realize long before their gay kids realize it themselves—take a long, hard look at the community in which you live. Take a long, hard look at the church where you worship. Take a long, hard look at the schools your kid will be forced to attend.
Then decide if staying put is worth your child's life.
I'm trying to find a link to a story about the 16-year-old La Grande girl who killed herself but I'm not finding anything. If someone has a link, or any info about the girl, please share in the comments.
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