Oakland University Student Corey Jackson, 19, Hangs Himself. Was Bullying a Factor?

Oakland University sophomore Corey Jackson, 19, was found Tuesday night hanging from a tree in a wooded area near campus in Rochester Hills, Michigan. His suicide is not being tied to bullying, campus police chief Sam Mlucido says: “We have no indication that bullying-type activity was occurring. We have talked with two people — one who was a student — who were close to Corey Jackson and they have said that was not an issue.” Corey’s family says otherwise.

Jackson’s family said he recently revealed to them that he was a homosexual, and that they believe he was bullied over his sexual orientation. They think the bullying led him to commit suicide.

“I believe (it happened) because he recently realized he was a homosexual and he was getting pressured at school by his peers because he told his family and nothing changed here,” said grandmother Carolyn Evans. “Corey was the most loving, giving, funny person. He had the most wonderful personality. He had cousins from ages 14 down to 2 and he never said a bad word about anybody. When he went to school and he realized his sexual preference had changed, he changed completely. He withdrew.”

[…] Jackson’s Aunt, Kim Jones, said Corey revealed to her he was having a difficult time. “He said ‘I don’t know what’s wrong. Ever since I came out people are treating me different. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where I belong,” Jones said.

In a statement, OU president Gary Russi told students, “Any death in the campus community diminishes us all. We know there will be no quick antidote for the pain that Corey’s sudden death has caused, and that only time can heal the sorrow felt by his family and friends. In our mourning, I am hopeful that we will not focus on the manner of Corey’s death, but rather celebrate the life he lived and the people he touched.”