Fox 5 News
January 19, 2011
A community in Orange Country, N.Y., is in mourning and in shock after a 14-year-old freshman took his own life and Facebook bullying may have pushed him over the edge.
Sources said that Kameron Jacobsen of Monroe Woodbury High School was tormented by Facebook bullies who taunted him about what they thought was his sexual orientation.
His fellow students and parents are devastated.
Crisis teams have been called in to help students, staff and parents deal with not one, but two tragedies in less than two weeks. Sources said that another student, a junior on the football team, ended his life.
At the high school they both attended, students tried to make sense of the incomprehensible — that two teens with everything ahead of them seemed to find life too painful.
Principal David Bernsley said the sense of loss is excruciating and that they are doing their best to cope.
“Our hearts go out to the families,” Bernsley said. “We’re devastated as a community.”
For Jacobsen’s family, the grief is beyond measure. Even with his death, online entries still sting. His older sister, Kierten, pleaded that people stop writing “rest in peace” entries and posting personal information about her baby brother.
Facebook issued a statement about the incidents: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of these students, and our hearts go out to their family and friends. These cases serve as a painful reminder of how people can help others who are either bullied or show signs of distress on Facebook. We encourage them to notify us, and we work with third party support groups including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to reach out to people who may need help. Our Safety Center also contains resources on how to help people who are in danger of harming themselves. These deaths are a loss to many, and it’s critical that we all work together to give hope to teens who may be feeling similarly.”