Kameron Jacobsen, a 14-year-old freshman at Monroe Woodbury High School in Orange County, New York, has taken his own life. “Sources” say that Kameron was bullied over Facebook about being perceived as gay — so much so that the company has even released a statement about the boy’s death. Kameron’s death comes just two weeks after a junior football player also committed suicide.
At the high school they both attended, students tried to make sense of the incomprehensible — that two teens with everything ahead of them seemed to find life too painful. Principal David Bernsley said the sense of loss is excruciating and that they are doing their best to cope. “Our hearts go out to the families,” Bernsley said. “We’re devastated as a community.”
For Jacobsen’s family, the grief is beyond measure. Even with his death, online entries still sting. His older sister, Kierten, pleaded that people stop writing “rest in peace” entries and posting personal information about her baby brother.
Facebook issued a statement about the incidents: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of these students, and our hearts go out to their family and friends. These cases serve as a painful reminder of how people can help others who are either bullied or show signs of distress on Facebook. We encourage them to notify us, and we work with third party support groups including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to reach out to people who may need help. Our Safety Center also contains resources on how to help people who are in danger of harming themselves. These deaths are a loss to many, and it’s critical that we all work together to give hope to teens who may be feeling similarly.”
A Facebook group mourning his death reads: “Kameron Jacobsen was an amazing kid who went to Monroe Woodbury High School. He made lots of people smile and laugh. Kameron passed away on January 18, 2011. We all love and miss him. R.I.P Kameron.” We’ll have more details as they come in.