Parents Of Gay Teen Say School Bullying Caused Suicide
At just 14, just a child, 8th grader Phillip Parker felt like life just wasn't worth living.
The Parkers plan to go to Gordonsville High Monday morning and meet with school leaders.
CARTHAGE, Tenn.- The family of an openly gay teen who committed suicide
Friday said it was a direct result of bullying at school. Now the parents of
Phillip Parker have questions for leaders at Gordonsville High School.
"A sweet kind person like Phillip took it out on himself, he killed
himself to get out of the pain," said his grandfather, Paul Harris.
At just 14, just a child, 8th grader Phillip Parker felt like life just
wasn't worth living.
"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," said Harris.
Parents and grandparents found Phillip's body Friday afternoon, minutes
later they found a handwritten note in his trash can that read 'Please help me
"I should have knew something was wrong, but he seemed happy,"
said his mother, Gena Parker.
"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," said Harris.
While these parents and grandparents had no idea, the students at
Gordonsville High school bombarded them both with information after Phillip's
death. More than hundred teens told them the bullying was obvious, and some
said they went to teachers about it.
Now the Parkers want to know why no one from Gordonsville alerted them to
the apparent bullying happening in the hallways.
"Whether it's verbal or physical a counselor at the school should be on
top of it and notify the parents. We weren't notified, and Phillip didn't tell
us about it," said Harris.
Family and friends gathered for Phillip's viewing Sunday night in Carthage
and a memorial Facebook page also helped his memory live on. The page was
created by a good friend who wanted it to serve as a reminder that hurtful
words can cause permanent damage.
"Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical abuse," said Harris.
These grieving parents want to know what was said to their son and more
importantly, who said it.
"We are going to find out who done it, we are going to get justice for
Phillip and you will pay for what you did to my son," said Parker.
The Parkers plan to go to Gordonsville High Monday morning and meet with
school leaders. NewChannel5's calls to the principal for comment were not
The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network also met with school leaders and
teachers Sunday afternoon to prepare them to help grieving students on Monday. There
is a two-hour mandatory suicide prevention training every year for teachers in