Teen suicide is a disturbing and heartbreaking reality. Last week, 15-year-old Jordan Lewis committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. The Illinois teen left a note for his family, explaining that he was tired of being bullied.
Jordan's father Brad Lewis was heartbroken when he heard the news. In his grief, he filmed a seven-minute video about his son's suicide, and the harassment he endured in school. He posted the video to his Facebook page to raise awareness about the devastating trend.
In his video, Lewis explains that "bullying has to stop... people have to stop treating other people the way they do." He points out that "some people just don't have the strength to overcome the humiliation... being picked on constantly... "
Ironically, Jordan Lewis ended his life on Spirit Day, which is part of an effort to end bullying and teen suicide. As explained by GLAAD.org, the special day was originally meant to end the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered youths, who are harassed for their sexual orientation.
Carterville High School used Spirit Day as an opportunity to discuss bullying with the students. As part of their presentation, school administrators showed a film, which explained how painful bullying can be for the victims. In the film, the teen who was being bullied eventually committed suicide.
As reported by Fox News, the film prompted Jordan to reach out for help. He sent one of his friends a text message, explaining that he had considered suicide amid the constant bullying. Fearing for the teen's well-being, the friend contacted local authorities.
The police responded to Jordan's home to assess his mental health. Although the complete details are unknown, the police eventually determined that Jordan was not in need of immediate mental health assistance.
The following morning, Jordan waited until his mother left for work, contacted 911, then proceeded to end his life. The teen's suicide note detailed his suffering due to bullying.
The Williams County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating Jordan Lewis' suicide and claims that he was bullied. School officials said they have no records indicating the teen was bullied or harassed on school grounds.
Brad Lewis said he knew his son was bullied, but he was unaware of the severity. He wishes he could have done more while his son was alive. However, he is committed to doing everything he can to stop bullying, including sharing his heartbreaking story.
Jordan Lewis' death underlines the tragedy of teen suicide due to bullying. His father's message is gut wrenching but vital.
[Image via Flickr]