A Tennessee teen's parents claim that constant anti-gay bullying led their son to take his own life.
As WSMV is reporting, parents and grandparents found 14-year-old Phillip Parker's body last Friday, along with a handwritten note in his trash can reading, "Please help me mom." Family members say they had previously reported concerns about their son's treatment to Gordonsville High School but to no avail.
"I should have knew something was wrong, but he seemed happy," Philip's mother Gena Parker told News Channel 5. "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."
Added grandfather Paul Harris: "Because he was gay, he got mistreated physically, mentally by several people out there at the school, and I am very resentful as a result of it. 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."
Although numerous sources, including Towleroad, Queerty and Metro Weekly, are also reporting the story, an official cause of death does not appear to have been revealed.
The Tennessee Equality Project's Upper Cumberland Committee will hold a candlelight vigil in Cookeville on Thursday, honoring Parker as well as other bullying victims, including Jacob Rogers, another teen who committed suicide last month.
Sadly, Parker's case follows a spate of LGBT-related controversy in the state of Tennessee. In addition to Rogers, the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill, which would effectively prevent public elementary and middle schools from teaching or distributing material on human sexuality that deals with homosexuality in any way, gained traction once again, while the state's senate Republicans have also proposed a change to the state's anti-bullying law to exempt condemnations of homosexuality based on religion.
Need help? Visit The Trevor Project's website or call them at 1-866-488-7386. In the U.S. you can also call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or visit stopbullying.gov.
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