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US: Gay teen taken off life support after hanging himself because of homophobic bullying

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  1. Another life destroyed by religion and the hate it inspires.

    1. Farewell Jadin. The world is a little bit dimmer without you.

    2. I understand your dislike of organised religion, but don’t underplay the brutish tribalism teenagers are capable of, regardless of religion. Many if not most teenagers are savage creatures who will pick on and reject anyone seen as weak or who doesn’t fit in with the prevailing norm.

      The only real hope is to train teachers to identify the ways bullying can occur and how to deal with it. An uphill struggle, I fear.

      1. GulliverUK 30 Jan 2013, 1:24pm

        And where were teachers? Where was the school administrator? Where was the government legislation to protect his life and liberty? We have the same problem in our schools now – and this government has done nothing. You’re right that teenagers can be savage – which is why you don’t allow that sort of thing, you stamp on it, you educate.

        Religions are at the heart of all the homophobia in society, it came from them, it continues to come from them, and it gains continued power from them and they legitimise it through their nonsense.

        http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50518515-76/americans-church-faith-gave.html.csp

        “Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that messages from U.S. religious pulpits are connected to the rising rates of suicide among gay youths, according to a new poll.

        And though Americans are split about whether they see homosexual activity as a sin, 72 percent say religion contributes to negative views of gays and lesbians.”

        1. GulliverUK 30 Jan 2013, 1:26pm

          …there are lots of good people who follow a religion, but there are also nasty vile homophobic bigoted sh1ts who have no right to contaminate society with their disgusting views. Most of them are in leadership positions, and the Catholic church is the worse of the lot. Half the Anglican leaders should be thrown out, and 95% of all Catholic leaders.

        2. I wonder. That’s probably true of the US, and I agree it certainly gives a framework for bullying, but in my own experience the worst bullies came from families that were not religiously observant.

          1. The following letter best describes whose side organised religion is on:

            “To the illustrious, Herr Adolf Hitler, Führer and Chancellor of the German Reich!

            Here at the beginning of our pontificate we wish to assure you that we remain devoted to the spiritual welfare of the German people entrusted to your leadership. For them we implore God the Almighty to grant them that true felicity which springs from religion.

            We recall with great pleasure the many years we spent in Germany as Apostolic Nuncio, when we did all in our power to establish harmonious relations between Church and State. Now that the responsibilities of our pastoral function have increased our opportunities, how much more ardently do we pray to reach that goal.

            May the prosperity of the German people and their progress in every domain come, with God’s help, to fruition!

            Given this day, 6th March 1939, in Rome at St. Peter’s in the first year of our pontificate.

            Pope Pius XII”

          2. We know nothing about the religion, or lack of it, of the unfortunate 15-year-old in question, nor of those who bullied him, so I think your comment is not exactly relevant.

  2. Paul Essex/London 30 Jan 2013, 3:06am

    RIP Jadin, They can’t hurt you any more. I only wish the world you’d known were one that deserved to have you in it.

    1. Brings to mind the words of Don Mclean.“ I should have told you Jadin this world was not meant for one as beautiful as you

  3. Chokingly sad. What a waste of a clearly lovely, gentle person.
    Church leaders should be made to attend to the families of these victims. Much like German people were brought to witness what went on in the liberated camps.

    1. Spanner1960 30 Jan 2013, 8:22am

      It won’t work. These people are simply too stupid to comprehend the effects of their own actions, even when it is shoved in their faces.

      The only way to stop bullying is heavy legislation.

  4. A very tragic heart breaking situation. The bullies who did this to Jadin will never comprehend the pain and hurt caused his parents.

    How can any one who knew him and his parents find the appropriate words as an expression of comfort, when the cruelty of others resulted in his parents having to face inconceivably ultimate ordeal of authorizing removal of life support for their son.

    The bullies, the faiths, politicians and bigots alike might find their consciences troubled, and beliefs questioned if they had to sit at jadins bedside with his parents until he finds peace!

  5. This is the human cost of old men and women who use politics and religion to cheapen the lives of men women and children worldwide.

    This is the cost when men would rather retain their silly hats and garments in order to hold onto their illusion of moral authority.

    It makes the blood boil…

    Rest in peace Jadin

    1. Perfectly put.

    2. Brings to mind the words of Don Mclean . I should have told you Jadin`. This world was not meant for one as beautiful as you .“

  6. Another day, another teenager takes his own life. I hope those who bullied him are pleased with themselves. One day, they realise that their actions have consequences.

    My heart goes out to his family and friends.

  7. Where were the 200 classmates when he was being bullied? Or were some of the bullies present?

  8. peter rice 30 Jan 2013, 8:39am

    im 28 and i had homaphobic bullying now for 13 yrs it dont get easier with age and time i just have to ignore and let it fly over me. i build up a imunity to it now nd yet with evey story like this it hits home that the worlds still the same as it was. Px

  9. i just don’t understand why some people can’t let others be who they are, whether it be gay, straight, bi, or what have you. love is love, no matter the preference of same gender or opposite. Absolutely nothing wrong with being different or weird, or whatever you want to call it. i support it fully and completely. Thoughts to the parents and family for their loss. rest in peace Jadin.

    1. Homophobia is driven by inner-fears of ones own same-sex attraction. What better way to convince yourself … and others … that you’re not gay than to abuse others who are? “Show me a homophobe; I’ll show you a closet gay”. The more homophobic someone is, the more they are struggling with their own inner desires. Adolescence is when this behaviour is most prevalent. Teens will attack anyone who reminds them of their own sexuality concerns. This manifests itself as bullying. Religion is the last bastion of support for this kind of teenage angst. We MUST break the cycle by holding religion more to account for inciting homophobia.

      1. This applies to some homophobic bullies but I suspect that lots are just fundamentally fearful and unreflecting straights threatened by any apparent departure from their very narrow and impoverished world view. The smallness of their world is itself a defence against chronic insecurity and lack of empathy. As with all bullying, their behaviour is much worse when perceived sources of power and authority, such as religion, seem to legitimise it and give it the ‘green light’.

      2. I know what you’re saying but, with teenagers in particular, it’s not always so – just plain old tribalism and the rejection of anyone who doesn’t fit in at its crudest. Gentleness and kindness, especially in boys, is too often seen as a weakness and something to be ridiculed.

  10. Will any of the bullies be held accountable? Will they even feel accountable? :(

    1. I don’t think bullies in cases like these are ever held accountable, but I sincerely hope that they think long and hard before they ever consider treating another as cruelly as they treated this truly sweet, young man. I hope that they learn from it, and teach their children one day how wrong it is to torture another human being for being different. I don’t care if the motivation is racial, sexual, or whatever, bullying someone is WRONG. It is inexcusable that schools do so little to prevent or stop it. Teach your children. Tell them that no matter what kind of pressure they get from their peers, it is not right to abuse other people this way. Teach them to stand up for others who are being mercilessly tortured by their classmates. Maybe that one voice of reason could save a life.

  11. And TOTALLY responsible is religion. Without its perpetuation of biblical homophobic nonsense, hundreds of young lives would be saved and countless thousands more, suffer less tortured existences. It is unbelievable that, in the modern, supposedly intelligent West, we can allow such deference to ‘belief’ to continue. We MUST stop religion spewing forth homophobic bile before any more kids are forced into taking their own lives.

  12. I can’t cope with this :( so devastating. What a beautiful life lost.

  13. Another tragic loss. RIP Jadin.

  14. It makes me feel physically sick to read about this. How can people do that to somebody – bully them and drive them to such a thing?

    Deepest sympathy to Jadin’s family and friends.

  15. Most religions will be completely indifferent to this (and other) young man’s torment. Imposing their beliefs and control freakery is what matters to them.

  16. Brett Gibson 30 Jan 2013, 11:33am

    Religion makes me sick.

    1. I agree but, given the dearth of specific information, we mustn’t just assume that religion played a particular role in this poor boy’s treatment. Oregon is hardly the US Bible Belt.

      It’s crude tribalism that makes me sick.

  17. Can someone clarify if Jadin’s last name is Bell or Hill? The article says Bell but mentions “Hill” and the photo caption says “Hill”. The article is not clear who this “Hill” person is even. Very poorly written!

    1. It should be Bell – PN, take note.

  18. That school will know who was doing the bullying. As a former school Principal I know that to be the case. I am also aware that as the parent of a boy who went on to be a ballet dancer, the school staff may not be all that innocent either. Find them and charge them with Murder….for that is what it is!

    1. So true, as someone who experienced bullying during my school years, my teachers remained happily complacent, despite my constant complaining about virtually every incident of abuse. In the end I took matters into my own hands.

    2. Apparently, according to another newscast I saw, the school was aware of the bullying, and it was “under investigation” when the incident occured.

  19. GingerlyColors 30 Jan 2013, 3:49pm

    The sad truth is children are the worst bigots. Playground bullies will pick on anybody who is different with it is color of skin, a disability, accent or sexuality. Part of the growing-up process is that children have to learn, sometime the hard way that bullying is not acceptable and while most of them grow out of it some sadly don’t. We were all guilty of saying or doing things to fellow pupils because they were different when we were at school and now regret it. The debate on how to install discipline in classrooms is an ongoing one and with little appetite for a return to the cane children who mistreat their fellow pupils should be educated separately until they are prepared to conform. Why should we have to conform for bullies. What has not been reported here is the fact that 20 schoolchildren commit suicide every year in the UK due to bullying. Bullies are the non-conformists and I trust that they are happy now they have got blood on their hands.

    1. Andrew Ross 30 Jan 2013, 4:26pm

      We can speculate on why Jadin made the decision he did but that won’t change the outcome. Teens everywhere gay, curious, or straight, face the same challenges. Jadin reminds us that the worst weapon against our progress is silence. The media exploits this story now for ratings, but the conversation must continue. We leave Jadin in God’s hands, not knowing all the answers. Only that God’s hand is leading us and His love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord

      1. I think it’s perfectly evident that ‘God’s love’ and support was inadequate in this instance.

        1. Staircase2 30 Jan 2013, 8:30pm

          That’s not actually relevant.

          Andrew Ross was merely offering his clearly heartfelt condolences in his own language…just like everyone else was here…

          If anything it’s really valuable to have a Christian demonstrating proper Christian values of compassion for the downtrodden and abused – especially in light of the really easy knee jerk response of some comments here in projecting their own prejudices into the story without any relevant evidence in the story itself.

          1. Yes, that’s a very generous interpretation. However, the remark in question was in extremely poor taste, given that a teenager has taken his own life. “God’s love” is clearly what is irrelevant in this instance, don’t you think?

  20. Reading stories like this, makes me want to see a system in which bullies who cause people to commit suicide are dealt with by the same justice system that deals with people who commit manslaughter. Because a case could be made that this is manslaughter by proxy, and any and all bullies should be made aware of the consequences of their actions.

    And to anyone getting bullied right now: the best advice I can give you, is don’t get scared, get angry. Tell a higher authority (employer, teacher, dean).

    If all else fails, punch ‘em good an hard.

    It’s what I should have done (as telling a higher authority did didly squat for me).

    1. agreed on that. i wish i would have gotten mad and punched my bullies, except i took it all and held everything in. it finally stopped once i reached high school but by that point i don’t think it mattered. i was already broken.

  21. Schools are dangerous for LGBT students! FACT! Now is anyone going to do anything about this or do we watch and cry as the figures go up and up!!!

  22. Staircase2 30 Jan 2013, 8:21pm

    Bless you, Jadin Bell
    RIP
    x

  23. This is horendous! More young people need to be able to have support from outside their families, someone to turn to. These bullies need to be put to shame! Their should be a law that punishes people who bully.

  24. Another martyr! Goodbye, dear boy!

  25. It is amazing to me. That the one place in the past where a troubled child might turn for help was the Church. It seemed, although I never attended church. It was supposed to be the place where young people could go for help.Perhaps I was naive in thinking this was the Christian way.But more often than not ,it is the churches that perpetuate this form of discrimination and hate mongering. Amongst all of societies institutions. This should be the one place they can turn for guidance. Instead they are met with a wall of ignorance and vile hatred for simply being born different. Why then in a modern world of knowledge and understanding do we allow these entities to continue their vile ignorance and clearly harmful bigotry to go un punished. why , because we say they have the right to free speech. Bullshit, it is because we are to cowardly to call them out on their bigotry and hatered. In any other circumstance we would hold them accountable for crimes against humanity. for genocide,

    1. If these were the leaders of a country of the UN we would endict them. Such as the leaders of Rawanda calling for the murder of many innocent Tutsis. How is this any different how long are we going to allow these institutions to insite hatred and bigotry of one element of society without calling them to account for their actions.

  26. poor kid if i was at the hospital i would make it impossible to pull the plug so he can have a fighting chance then convince him if he wakes make him feel better about everything

  27. very very sad

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