Parents of a gay US teenager who committed suicide have said that a year of constant homophobic bullying pushed him to take his own life.
Phillip Parker, a student at Gordonsville High School, Tennessee, hanged himself in his foster parents’ bathroom, WSMB-TV reported.
Gena Parker, the 14-year-old’s mother told News Channel 5: “I should have knew something was wrong, but he seemed happy.”
She went on: “After he did what he did, we found out a lot that we didn’t know and there is a lot of bullying that goes on at the school,”
It has been reported that shortly after finding Phillip’s body last Friday, his parents found a handwritten note, which read “Please help me mom.”
Ruby Harris, Parker’s grandmother, said in an interview with American News, Channel 4 that he said “he felt like he had a rock on his chest. He just wanted to take the rock off, where he can breathe.”
The Parker family said they never got the full story from Gordonville High School about Phillip’s bullying, and want to ask why. They have arranged to meet with representatives from the school, and have said they want to see that the perpetrators be brought to justice.
This news comes just a month after another Tennessee teenager, Jacob Rogers took his own life after four years of anti-gay bullying.
It has been suggested that the ‘Don’t say gay’ bill, which was passed in Tennessee last May, is partly could be responsible for the increase in teen suicides linked to homophobic bullying.
A candlelit vigil was held in Gordonsville on Monday evening, where family members and friends mourned Phillip’s death, and called for an end to bullying.