Another young person has died as a result of anti-gay bullying: Jadin Bell, a 15-year-old sophomore at La Grande High School in La Grande, Oregon, was taken off life support last week, after hanging himself in a school playground.
Earlier in the week, nearly 200 people attended a vigil for Bell at a nearby art center, where dozens of photos of the bright-looking youth were on display.
“Jadin is one of the best people I have ever met. He makes everyone around him feel good all the time,” said LHS junior Frankie Benitez.
She said Bell is someone who never forgets his friends.
“Jadin always remembers people no matter what,” Benitez said. “If I felt bad, I would hang out with him and he would say something small like, ‘I love your sweater.’ He notices things you didn’t think anyone notices.”
Another girl described Jadin as the sweetest boy she had ever met. She recalled that when she transferred to LHS, Bell was the first person she did not know to talk to her.
Bell was a member of the LHS cheerleading team and volunteered at an assisted-living facility in town. But his sexuality and sensitive nature made him a target for bullies, both at school and on the Web, said family friend Bud Hill: “He was different, and they tend to pick on the different ones.”