US: Gay teenager died by suicide because of bullying, parents say
The parents of a gay teenager from Michigan, who died by suicide in late November, have said that intense bullying was to blame for their son’s death.
Josh Pacheco, 17, of Fenton, Michigan, was being bullied frequently inside and outside of school, and only came out to his mother two months ago, before died by suicide on 27 November, reports MLive.
His mother, Lynnette Capehart, said: “My son was very funny and exceptionally sensitive and loving to other people’s feelings.
“He was having problems with bullying. He didn’t really want to tell us very much… it was very disheartening to me,” she continued.
She went on to say that school officials at Linden High School had never told her about the bullying her son was facing, and that she, and his stepfather, only found out about the bullying after his death.
Mr Pacheco was reportedly pushed into lockers, and teased, but his mother said she was not surprised he didn’t tell anybody about it, because he wouldn’t have wanted to upset anyone.
Superintendent Ed Koledo, said that no bullying had ever been reported to the faculty. He said:
“We weren’t aware of any specifics. There’s been a lot of stories that ahve turned up over the weekend that we are looking into.”
A vigil is set to take place on December 5, at 18:00, according to the website of WHMI, a local radio station.
This was the second such suicide in Michigan’s Genesee County this year, as back in January, Jarrod Nickell, from Flushing, died by suicide because of bullying in school, his parents said.
The Eagle Hotline, on which students can use to text bullying they have experienced or witnessed, is also now operational, and can be reached at 810-373-213. Talks to implement the hotline were in motion, but were accelerated by school officials after Mr Pacheco’s death.