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Minnesota

Gay teen jumps to his death; family says bullying was a factor

Thursday, May 10, 2012

ROCHESTER, Minn. — An openly gay teen in Rochester, Minn., took his own life on Sunday, and according to the boy’s father, anti-gay bullying played a “a big part” in his son’s suicide.

Shortly before midnight on Sunday, Jay “Corey” Jones, a 17-year-old student at Century High School, jumped off a pedestrian bridge near his school in Rochester and died, reported the Rochester Post-Bulletin.

Jay “Corey” Jones

Last year, Corey told his father, Jay Strader, he was gay. Strader said he immediately noticed a positive change in Corey.

“I just saw a difference in him, I saw a smile, I saw a little more energy than actually being down and out and depressed-looking,” Strader said. “To me he felt a sign of relief, like, ‘Yeah I got over the hard part, right,’ you know.”

But coming out exposed Corey to other pressures, Strader told Minnesota Public Radio, primarily from bullies at school.

Strader said the teasing Corey encountered at school was a constant struggle for his son, and he was diagnosed with depression.

“He said all of his life they always picked on him,” Strader said. “He’d still try to keep his head up at school, but then he’d come home and be really sad about it.”

Corey was a member of Century High School’s gay-straight alliance, and the cover photo his Facebook page read, “Gay & Proud.”

The school’s Superintendent Michael Muñoz issued a statement acknowledging there have been issues related to bullying in the district, but did not directly address Cory’s situation.

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60 more reader comments:

  1. lord…

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:34pm
  2. so sad

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:34pm
  3. OMG, heartbreaking.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:34pm
  4. :( <3

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:34pm
  5. omg…… how tragic….

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:34pm
  6. AWWWWWW SO SAD.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:35pm
  7. Heart sank. :( this has GOT to stop.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:35pm
  8. Poor kid…I would’ve loved you!

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:35pm
  9. BULLYING Like the Kind ROMNEY thinks is a CHildish Prank…BOO on Haters and BOO on ROMNEY aka GayBasher

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:35pm
  10. of all the teens killing there selfs & still no one is helping on the Bullying Factor thats the sad thing.. Just Sad Memories & my heart goes to his family

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:36pm
  11. This is just horrible.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:36pm
  12. Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:37pm
  13. So sad.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:38pm
  14. OMFG!! I dont know what our nation is doing about these suicides..apparently not much…but they need to kick it up a notch!

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:38pm
  15. Was Romney there to push him? OBAMA2012!

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:38pm
  16. :’( My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family! Extremely heartbreaking!

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:39pm
  17. May this ANgel Rest in paradise .. Such sadness ppl dnt understand that bullying and gay bashing will not make the world a better place nor st8 , it will make it more Hateful N there will still b homoseXuals , we don’t harm or mean harm why hurt us LET’S JUST LiVE HuMblE towards 1 another

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:40pm
  18. Not again.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:41pm
  19. SAD SAD SAD SO VERY SAD

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:41pm
  20. Why r people so damn ignorant. Being gay is not a choice. Stop being so f*ckin dumb n open ur mind. This is 2012 not 1878. If gays r required 2 pay taxes, pay bills n follow the same constitution as the rest of the world, then give us the same rites. We should be free 2 be wit whom we wanna be wit without the ridicule of the ignoranance of people who claim were sinners cause of our sexual preference.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:44pm
  21. I can’t wait till I see some positive news coming from LGBTQ.. The world needs change. I hope it happens soon.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:44pm
  22. It so sad to hear about kids who kill themselves over single mind people. This need to stop we are losing to many kids over this. And not only that but the family and friends who have tingle deal with that lost. Please stop it. It’s not worth losing anyone else.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:45pm
  23. It is past time to take action against this bigotry… These tragedies must end NOW!!! BY ALL MEANS NECESSARY! -Faggot X

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:45pm
  24. Its because piece of shit people who fuckn make kids like myself feel worthless…. how many more kids gonna kill themselves ?? Gay youth?? Its Society &u people who say God is sending us to hell … & telling us how wrong being gay is. How dare you? Maybe u dont care our youth is taking there own life but I fuckn do!!!! So stop hating on us your the sick ones!! Get help!!

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:48pm
  25. Damn.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:50pm
  26. WOW! When will this end. where is your so called god (most absent parent for this planet.) my heart goes out to his parents.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:59pm
  27. Its so sad these kids feel they have no other option then to end what could be amazing lives these kids could’ve been the ones to cure aids or cancer, and bc nobody wants to really stand up for all lqbtq ppl sadly these tradgedies will continue untill we stand united and make a serious difference….to the family my prayers are with you and I pray your loved one finds peace in the arms of the angels<3

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:01pm
  28. How terribly sad. I look forward to the day when homophobia is viewed with as much distaste as racism is. The next generation will look back on this one and will be wondering why all this was even an issue.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:03pm
  29. How sad

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:07pm
  30. As much wickedness that exists in the world, the bullies and idiots would rather harrass Gay people. Meanwhile children are being raped. No one is bullying pedophiles! Something is really wrong with the people of this planet. May this brother rest in peace and fid comfort, joy and happiness beyond.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:07pm
  31. Max Brown, well said!

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:15pm
  32. The teens of today have more to contend with when coming out-especially from their peers and so call Bullys. If you are not effeminate or noticeably gay-why should you come out? To get Bullied, Cat calls, left standing alone-Believe me there are more like you who will not come out for the love of Money. I came out because, like Baynard Rustin who was GAY, and the Organizer for MLK March on Washington and planner for the entire non-violent Civil Rights Crusade, I was a Participant in the GAY RIGHTS Movement of the 1960s as well as the Civil Rights Movement: The Stonewall Uprising whose riots started the Gay Revolution. Suddenly, I realized that I was a part of a historical movement with a story that had to be told : (http:/amazon.com/1460948645) Still, I am not finished! Do I feel suicidal? My next book.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:27pm
  33. RIP :(

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:28pm
  34. Here we go again :(

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:28pm
  35. And this is an adorable picture too =( R.I.P Sweetheart

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:30pm
  36. ah minnesota home of michelle the bigot and her closeted husband

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:33pm
  37. So very, very sad! Absolutely Heartbreaking!

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:33pm
  38. What is wrong with people today? This world is going to hell in a hand basket. Judgmental ignorance is alive and well.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:36pm
  39. Rest in peace little man.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:42pm
  40. He was just a baby.. so sad

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:48pm
  41. Tragic!

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 9:08pm
  42. Sending’ THOUGHTS and PRAYERS!!

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 9:32pm
  43. not again… this is completely out of hand :/

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 9:41pm
  44. Philip not all Minnesotans are like the Bachmanns. A blanket statement like that is wrong…..point the finger where it belongs. I agree that they are an embarrassment to our state as they are more vocal & prove their idiocy whenever they open their mouths. Judgemental people like them are the reason some of the children don’t want to go on living in a world that they view as cruel and abusive.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 9:44pm
  45. uh…. what i can’t believe that, (tears) why ppls hate us LGBTQ LOVE?? I am scared this world coming more happen. this look like coming WW3! I am going pray daily! RIP gay teen. make me cry right now. *walk away*

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 10:24pm
  46. I wish I had known u id hv shown you you were loved R.I.P angel

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 11:22pm
  47. my hometown :< and people still say this isn’t a problem

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 11:41pm
  48. also we’re a pretty progressive state. bachmann is not a true representative in the meaning of the word.

    Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 11:42pm
  49. While it is true not all bullies are today’s version of so-called conservatives, it is equally true that all bullies are of that particular ilk. They are cowards with weak minds, who deliberately work to hurt others just to make their own pathetic lives seem better.

    In the end, all bullies will face God’s Judgment, including those who justify their cruelty claiming God’s Authority.

    Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 1:55am
  50. So sad again a senseless lose of a life because of hate taught to children… and in heartland America where everyone goes to church on Sunday……RIP with the Angels

    Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 2:31am
  51. such a DAMN shame!

    Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 2:57am
  52. I was tortured in school growing up, being pushed down flights of stairs after returning to school from a broken neck with very nasty F-Words being shouted at me, and much worse…more parents like mine need to stand UP! WE FOUGHT A SCHOOL DISTRICT AND WON a lawsuit, now that your reading just google my name with the word gay next to it…its actually kind of sad….I feel so bad for his family I cant imagine what my family would of done if I would have succeeded in suicide..I believe with knowledge comes power…Parents need to start standing up for their children more

    Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 3:58am
  53. WTF we r who we r i think its time to bully the fuckin bully,,,bully this bully that now another person dead cuz he was diffrent n happy ,,,im so close to putting a bat to every bullys head n yes then ill be the bullyz Queen bully bitch its time for a stand JuggelO TBitch out!

    Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 4:22am
  54. This is crazy got to stop…but im in my thritys its still hapoens to me.. Ppl are so heartleas

    Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 6:01am
  55. a shame that people have to get bullied because they choose to stand up and be themselves in this day and age, the schools needs to take more action against bulling and take it seriously, not having the victims take their own lives to escape it. it hurts to read something such as this.

    Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 7:09am
  56. Bullying is realy a traumatizing, no jokes.

    Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 7:11am
  57. Romney needs to stop minimizing his gay bashing hate crime of his youth, own up to the damage he did & pray for forgiveness!

    Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 7:24am
  58. So sad! When will it end?????

    Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 7:24am
  59. so sad

    Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 7:28am
  60. very sad…

    Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 3:08pm