Outside La Grande Friday, more than 200 people attended a memorial for 15-year-old Jadin Bell. The openly gay teen hanged himself last month, just a week after telling school administrators he was the victim of bullying.
The majority of those who attended the service were Bell’s classmates at La Grande High School. Many fought back tears as friends and family remembered Bell as an young man who was both strong and sensitive — uplifting and empathetic. Teacher Kevin Cayhill was Bell’s English teacher. He says Bell was rarely the first to speak in class. He’d listen instead. But Cayhill says when Bell spoke, he did so from the heart.
Cayhill said, “In my experience, some some students favor plot. They want to know what’s going to happen next. They want to know how the story’s going to end. But Jadin, it seems to me, was always more interested in why characters did the things they did.”
Bell’s suicide left many friends and family asking themselves the same question. A close family friend Bud Hill says he’s starting a foundation to help combat school bullying.