“Please help me, Mom.”
The Parker family says they should have known something was wrong, but like many families it can be hard to spot suicidality behind a smile. Phillip Parker’s mother says that her 14-year old son “seemed happy.” After his death, though, she reports that the family learned “a lot that we didn’t know” adding “there is a lot of bullying that goes on at the school.”
Paul Harris, Phillip’s grandfather, says, “Because he was gay, he got mistreated physically, mentally by several people out there at the school.” While nobody in the family knew the extent of the bullying, plenty of Gordonsville High School students knew. Over 100 teens bombarded the family with details after Phillip’s death.
One friend, Heather, said, “He’ll never be forgotten. He’ll always be in my heart.” Many friends reported that Phillip was known as the boy who told everyone, you’re beautiful. His grandmother knew his life was not always so beautiful. “He kept telling me he had a rock on his chest. He just wanted to take the rock off where he could breathe.”
The Parker family cannot help but feel betrayed. “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.” Phillip’s father adds, “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.” He continued, “I love him. I miss him. He shouldn’t have had to kill
himself to be brought to life.”
For now, the family is left with memories and the haunting words found on a handwritten note in a trash can next to Phillip’s lifeless body: “Please
help me mom.”
Phillip Parker – Age 14
Gordonsville (TN) – Died January 20, 2012
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