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Bullied Gay Teen Dies At Portland Hospital

OPB | Feb. 4, 2013 2:15 p.m. | Bend, Oregon

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A La Grande teenager who hanged himself at a school playground last month has died at a Portland hospital. Jadin Bell’s story made national headlines after revelations surfaced that the 15-year-old had been the victim of anti-gay bullying.

Students displayed close to 50 photos of Jadin Bell at a vigil held before his death.

Students displayed close to 50 photos of Jadin Bell at a vigil held before his death.

Chris Baxter / La Grande Observer

Bell’s friends say he didn’t appear to be suicidal.  But days before hanging himself, Bell began posting ominous messages on Twitter.  One dated Jan. 15 reads,  “I need help.”  One of his last tweets reads “I just want it to be over.  It will be.  Soon enough.”

La Grande School District Superintendent Larry Glaze said a crisis team is on hand to help students and teachers.  In regards to bullying, Glaze wouldn’t discuss Bell specifically, but he said La Grande has anti-bullying programs for grades kindergarden through 12.

“I can say with confidence that our administrative team and our counseling team addressed the issues directly and followed our district policy and worked with the family and Jadin in dealing with the one situation that we’re aware of,” said Glaze.

The school district will hold a public tribute for Bell following Tuesday night’s basketball game at La Grande High School.

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