Friends say classmate killed self after bullying on sexuality - WSMV Channel 4

Update

Friends say classmate killed self after bullying on sexuality

Posted: Updated: Dec 7, 2011 07:14 PM
ASHLAND CITY, TN (WSMV) -

Students at a local school are grieving a classmate. Friends say the young man took his own life because he couldn't take any more bullying.

And they say school officials knew about the torment but didn't do enough to stop it.


NEW: Friends, community hold vigil for teen bullying victim

 

Friends say that kids bullied Jacob Rogers at Cheatham County Central High School for the past four years, but in the past few months it had become so bad he dropped out of school.

And Wednesday, he ended his life.

"He started coming home his senior year saying 'I don't want to go back. Everyone is so mean. They call me a f****, they call me gay, a queer,'" friend Kaelynn Mooningham said.

Kaelynn said her friend Jacob felt ignored.

"Jacob told me no one was helping him. He constantly was going to guidance," she said.

But Cheatham County Schools Director Dr. Tim Webb said the school was only aware of one incident of bullying.

"She actually intervened and called the students in accused of bullying or picking. She called them in, talked to them and gave them warnings. Subsequently after that, she ran into the student and asked him if things were better and he indicated that things were better," Webb said.

But Kaelynn knows that Jacob wasn't OK. Things were still so bad around Thanksgiving that he ultimately quit going to school.

"No one would listen and stand up for him," she said.

Brentwood attorney Larry Crane has worked on several cases involving bullying where schools failed to do enough.

"Federal government is taking a closer look at these cases," he said.

And now, those like Kaelynn are wondering when is enough, finally enough?

"It just doesn't have to make sense. How many kids have to die before Cheatham does something," she said.

Kaelynn says Jacob lived with his grandmother who primarily took care of him. She found a couple notes that Jacob left for her. In those notes Jacob left passwords to his email and his phone so investigators could determine why he chose to kill himself.

As for Cheatham Central, counselors will be on hand again Thursday for grieving classmates.

Friends of Jacob's family say they likely don't have enough money to hold a funeral.


 

Update:

Friends are planning a candlelight vigil for Jacob Rogers Thursday, Dec. 8, at River Bluff Park.

The vigil is slated to begin at 6 p.m.

And several people from across the country have pledged donations to help Jacob's family, including prominent bloggers Dan Savage, Joe Jervis and Andy Towle.

And two funds have been established. One is at the Community Bank and Trust in Ashland City. Donors can go to the bank to make a donation to the "Jacob Rogers Benefit Fund."

And the other is at the Bank of America in Ashland City. Donors can contribute to the "Jacob Rogers fund."

Donations are also being accepted at Sandman's Ink Shop, a local tattoo shop in Ashland City.

The business is located at:

1102 N. Main Street, Ashland City, TN 37015

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 2 p.m. to 12 a.m.

(615) 792-0506

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