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An 18-year-old high school senior from Tennessee took his life in his home Wednesday after enduring years of bullying from his classmates.
The harassment that Jacob Rogers of Ashland City, Tenn., faced from other students became so harsh that he dropped out of school last month, according to WSMV News. Rogers, a senior at Cheatham County Central High School, would tell his friend Katelynn Mooningham that he felt tormented by people calling him antigay slurs.
"Jacob told me no one was helping him. He constantly was going to guidance," she said.
Mooningham said that while school officials knew of the constant bullying, little was done to end it. However, school director Tim Webb told WSMV that he and his colleagues were aware of only one incident, after which the offending students were given warnings. Webb said Rogers did not report any further harassment, but Mooningham said she knew something was still wrong.
After his death, Mooningham found notes that Rogers left, with passwords to his email and phone. The intention was to allow investigators to see the menacing messages he received from classmates.
Along with the funeral on Saturday at Cheatham County Funeral Home, a vigil for Rogers is slated for Thursday night at River Bluff Park. Additionally, bloggers at Towleroad, The Stranger, and Joe My Godhave created a fund to help the family with the costs of the funeral. Any extra money raised will go to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, the It Gets Better Project, the Trevor Project, and the American Civil Liberties Union.