Jadin Bell, a 15-year-old gay student, has died after being taken off of life support following a suicide attempt.
Bell hanged himself on a playground structure at Central Elementary School in La Grande, Oregon on January 19. The teen had been the victim of bullying online and in person because he was openly gay.
Bell was transported to a local hospital where he was placed on life support. His family made the decision to pull the plug after tests showed that he had no brain activity. He passed away early Sunday at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
Bud Hill, a family friend, told The Oregonian that Bell had complained that he was being bullied a week prior to his suicide attempt. He talked about the bullying to a counselor at La Grande High School, where he was a sophomore.
“He was different, and they tend to pick on the different ones,” Hill said. “If someone was down and out he would walk into a room and say a couple quick words and everybody would just forget about their problems and smile. He just had a gift.”
A vigil held for Bell at the Art Center at the Old Library in Portland, Oregon, attracted around 200 people, the majority of whom were La Grande students. According to the La Grande Observer, the vigil ran over an hour and a half and only ended because the building needed to be closed for the night.
Vigil attendees remembered Bell as caring and sensitive. One family friend, Jody Bullock, said, “If he saw a wounded butterfly (as a child) he wanted to heal it.”
Candy Blackman, mother of an LHS student, said, “He always gives a compliment to everybody the first time he meets them. He always has a smile on his face.”
Sadly, Bell wasn’t the only young person to take his life recently. A ninth grade student at Coweta Intermediate School in Coweta, Oklahoma, committed suicide in a school bathroom. The school and Coweta High School were locked down as a precaution. The student’s name and sex have yet to be released.
We here at The Inquisitr extend our condolences to Jadin Bell’s family and friends, as well as the family and friends of the Coweta Intermediate School student.