Jacob Rogers had been bullied for four years. he 'took it' for four years, until the last few months when he dropped out of school.
Wednesday, he ended his life. And now, fellow students at Cheatham County Central High School are grieving the suicide of their classmate, and saying that school officials knew about the torment but didn't do enough to stop it.
"He started coming home his senior year saying 'I don't want to go back. Everyone is so mean. They call me a f****, they call me gay, a queer.'"--friend Kaelynn Mooningham.
And this went on, probably every single day, for the last four years, even though Cheatham County Schools Director Dr. Tim Webb said the school was only aware of one incident of bullying: "She actually intervened and called the students in accused of bullying or picking. She called them in, talked to them and gave them warnings. Subsequently after that, she ran into the student and asked him if things were better and he indicated that things were better."
But it didn't get better. Jacob quit school around Thanksgiving and then killed himself.
Joe,My.God., Towleroad, and Slog took up donations to help Jacob's family to pay for the funeral, and in just under two hours over $5,000 was raised. But we shouldn't be raising money for funerals. We should be raising our hands and raising our voices and raising hell against bullies and bullying. We should be demanding, DEMANDING, that schools have a Zero-Tolerance, One-Strike rule, and you're out. You bully, you're expelled. We need to make schools safe for all kids, not just LGBTQ youth; all kids.
Think of all the things Jacob Rogers could have been, could have done, could have seen, or said. And now, because so many think that bullying isn't really an issue, that's all over for him.
I don't want to donate money to funerals any more.