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Tennessee: Openly gay teen commits suicide from ‘obvious’ bullying

gay San Diego - Phillip Parker

Phillip Parker, 14, committed suicide on Sunday as friends and family mourn his death said to have arisen from school bullying. // Photo Credit: Nashville News Channel 5

The family of an openly gay teen in Carthage, Tenn. says their son committed suicide as a direct result from the bullying he faced at school.

Phillip Parker, 14, an 8th grader at Gordonsville High School, was described as a good student with a good heart. “A sweet kind person like Phillip took it out on himself, he killed himself to get out of the pain,” said his grandfather, Paul Harris.

The family is looking for answers after repeated complaints of Parker’s bullying were given to administrators of the school from other students on campus who witnesses the attacks.

“Because he was gay, he got mistreated physically, mentally by several people out there at the school, and I am very resentful as a result of it,” said Harris.

The family of the gay teen found his body just moments before a handwritten letter was found that read, “Please help me mom.”

“I should have knew something was wrong, but he seemed happy,” said his mother, Gena Parker.

“After he did what he did, we found out a lot that we didn’t know and there is a lot of bullying that goes on at the school,” said Harris.

While the family was not directly aware of the bullying, students at Gordonsville High School say the bullying was obvious according to reports at Tennessee’s News Channel 5. According to the source, more than hundreds of fellow classmates said the bullying was “obvious,” with some students calling upon teachers for help.

“Whether it’s verbal or physical a counselor at the school should be on top of it and notify the parents. We weren’t notified, and Phillip didn’t tell us about it,” said Harris.

The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network was called to the school Sunday and were on-campus for grieving students Monday morning.



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Posted by LGBT Weekly on Jan 23, 2012. Filed under Breaking News, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Tennessee: Openly gay teen commits suicide from ‘obvious’ bullying”

  1. The sometimes-tragic consequences of bullying have been in the news a lot lately. We asked members of the Express-News Teen whether they or someone they know had ever been bullied or had ever bullied someone else. How did they, their teachers or parents deal with the situation? And what do they think schools could or should be doing about bullying that they are not already doing? As a parent the most important thing is my child’s safety. This blog covers how a mother is dealing with a heartbreaking experience and how you can better protect your kids. This is the link: http://www.tsue-thatswhatshesaid.com/2011/08/your-childs-safety-your-piece-of-mind.html

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