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Oregon teen in critical condition after hanging himself due to anti-gay bullying

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

LA GRANDE, Ore. — A 15-year-old teen has been taken off life support and is in critical condition after hanging himself over what family members describe as anti-gay bullying.

Jadin Bell of La Grande, Ore., went to the playground of Central Elementary School on Jan. 19, climbed on a play structure and hanged himself. He was brought to Portland’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital where he was placed on life support.

Jadin Bell

Jadin, who was not expected to live, was taken off life support over the weekend, reported KATU-TV. As of Tuesday morning, Jadin remained in critical condition.

His family said he was the target of bullying.

Bud Hill, a close family friend, who Jadin refers to as his uncle, said he belives Jadin was pushed to suicide after being bullied in person and on the Internet because he is gay.

“He was different, and they tend to pick on the different ones,” Hill told KATU-TV.

Hill says Jadin asked his parents to home school him, because he feared turning in the bullies would make things worse.

The school district said it was in the process of investigating when Jadin tried to end his life.

On Saturday, an estimated 200 people, the majority of whom were LHS students, attended a vigil for Jadin, reported the La Grande Observer.

Numerous friends and classmates spoke about Jadin in heartfelt tones, painting a portrait of a young man who has an uncommon way of lifting the spirits of others.

Jody Bullock, a close family friend, described Jadin as a gentle, caring person, one who has been this way since childhood.

“He is amazingly sensitive,” said Bullock.

Bullock runs an adult assisted living home for seniors. She said Jadin came over frequently and always made a point of saying hello to her residents and talking with them. Bullock said it is unusual for young people to do this, noting that often young people are afraid of seniors.

Candy Blackman, an La Grande High School parent who attended Satuday’s vigil, offered offered a similar perspective.

“He always gives a compliment to everybody the first time he meets them,” Blackman said. “He always has a smile on his face.”

Jadin is a member of the LHS cheerleading team, and, Blackman said, cheerleading fits his outgoing, colorful personality. “Cheerleading is his passion,” Blackman said.

Jadin’s mother, Lola Lathrop, told KATU-TV she hopes that this tragedy will make people thing twice about the way they treat people.

“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,” Lathrop said.

According to a hospital spokesperson, Bell’s family is not currently interested in speaking to the press; they remain by Jadin’s side.

Hill said the family is “overwhelmed” and “very thankful for all of the support.”

Friends have set up a Facebook page in support of Jadin.

Developing story, check back for updates.

Editor’s Note: If you or a young person you know is LGBT and thinking about suicide, please call The Trevor Project’s Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. For adults over 24, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-866-273-8255.

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43 more reader comments:

  1. Just terrible!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 4:52pm
  2. So sad.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 4:53pm
  3. They should force the bullys to come to his room and see what they have done!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 4:54pm
  4. Heartbreaking.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 4:54pm
  5. so sad

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 4:54pm
  6. i know one dude whos gonna get cash money from me…..if i can hold on……:)

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 4:54pm
  7. Makes me so angry! people need to clam down with the hating and bullying…from the pic, seems like a wonderful kid.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 4:54pm
  8. This puts a black hole in my heart today.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 4:55pm
  9. pisses me off :(

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 4:56pm
  10. Tragically sad. Sending lots of love and healing energy to him and his family.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 4:58pm
  11. :

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 4:59pm
  12. That’s horrible! So sad.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:00pm
  13. If the young man has brain injury, which is possible from hypoxia, I would like to see the bullies required to provide loving care for him for the rest of their lives.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:00pm
  14. Not good.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:01pm
  15. :-O

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:02pm
  16. Heartbreaking.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:08pm
  17. it DOES get better

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:09pm
  18. We need to stop the hate. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:15pm
  19. they took him off life support, he died.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:21pm
  20. “BULLIES Need to be made accountable” I>E> Jail time…

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:23pm
  21. THIS is what happens when so-called religious leaders and politicians spew their homophobic idiocy. When kids see and hear GLBT’s treated as “less than,” they do the same thing. When kids hear, “God hates fags,” from the westboro baptist church they believe god really does hate GLBT’s. When the Boy Scouts kick out gay teens, it sends the message there is something horribly wrong with being gay. Kids mirror what they see and parrot what they hear. Unfortunately, too many adults are still infecting children with homophobia. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this incredibly painful time.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:24pm
  22. @john daniel, where did you get your info that he died?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:24pm
  23. Ignorance and intolerance, combined with extreme right-wing “CHRISTian” HATERS in their campaign against us!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:26pm
  24. Queerty.com is reporting that he died

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:30pm
  25. This is horrible. My prayers and support go out to his family.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:32pm
  26. #$@% damn it! :(

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:42pm
  27. This is terrible…when will this shit stop!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:04pm
  28. Very sad!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:12pm
  29. this behavior needs to stop..

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:17pm
  30. Bullying needs to stop and kids need to be loved.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:29pm
  31. By parents and respected by others

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:30pm
  32. Oh, no. So very sad to hear this.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:34pm
  33. Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:43pm
  34. I think just about every gay person was bullied at some time or the other, or is bullied, some of us less than others . Thankfully, I did not experience much bullying or negativity,and I was a pretty strong kid and handled what I did get quite well,and pretty much gave back any shit that I got, and learned to walk away. But bullying these days is far more thorough, more insidious,more psychologically-if not physically- brutal than when I was a kid…we did not have the internet or social media when I was 15, both of which are powerful tools, for good as well as evil. These kids have to realize that it gets better, it really does, and that strength will get them through, and connection with the gay community, any connection they can get: on line, on FB, in person. It all helps. I can only hope this beautiful boy makes a full recovery and grows up to be what he can be, a proud and strong gay man. I do not pray, but my thoughts will be with this boy and those who love and care about him.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:51pm
  35. F**k!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:52pm
  36. :(

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:57pm
  37. we need to stand up more for these children. we need to be support that they need

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 7:35pm
  38. My prayers are with him and his family…God Bless

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 7:43pm
  39. We still have so far to go.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 8:20pm
  40. But why put, “No Asians Please”, “No Fats”, “No femmes/sissies”, “No one is over 50″ on gay dating online like gay.com, written by white, black and latino guys.
    Are they really allow to put it likes that?. I don’t understand because of “ANTI-BULLYING AD” OR “IT’LL GET BETTER” PROJECT. Hmmm, It’s like hypocrite…..

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 8:53pm
  41. OMG

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 9:03pm
  42. God there are so many stupid people on FB (RE: Maniqueer)

    Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 9:10pm
  43. :( hope he gets better.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:15am