Tonight comes word that it has happened again. Another teenager has died a senseless death due to bullying. Friends say 18 year old Jacob Rogers recently dropped out of school after unsuccessfully attempting to get his school to help him stop the bullying...
One friend of senior Jacob Rogers told a Nashville television station that she believes he committed suicide because he was tired of constant bullying. The friend said Rogers was being bullied because of his sexuality, and school officials didn't do enough to stop it.
Jacobs friend Katelynn Mooningham claims that Jacob, while enduring four years of anti-gay bullying, tried multiple times to get help from the school. The school system claims otherwise...
School director Tim Webb told WSMV that he and his colleagues were aware of only one incident...
So what did the school do?
... the offending students were given warnings.
But there will probably be more to this bullying story. You see, it may not just be the word of a friend. It appears that Jacob wanted everyone to know what was going on.
After his death, Mooningham found notes that Rogers left, with passwords to his email and phone. The intention was to allow investigators to see the menacing messages he received from classmates.
The issue of bullying of this nature was brought to the forefront of our national conscience a little over a year ago when Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi took his life by jumping from a bridge. Many young lives have been lost to this senselessness in the intervening months. It, sadly, won't stop with Jacob.
It is, however, each of our duties to keep the message alive that this is not OK. We will not stand for such hostility. It must stop. You can help by signing this petition created by the Tennessee Equality Project, which calls for a full investigation, as well as the adoption of a comprehensive anti-bullying policy.