Tennessee Teen Is State's Second Suicide in Two Months
In Tennessee, where lawmakers are once again considering the “don’t say gay” bill aimed at schools, a 14-year-old Gordonsville student named Phillip Parker killed himself Friday. The Tennessee Equality Project plans a candlelight vigil Thursday at the Cookeville Courthouse Square to remember Parker and to call on lawmakers to stop sending a negative message to students.
The so-called don’t say gay bill would bar teachers from discussing homosexuality in public school classes in kindergarten through eighth grade. It managed to pass the state Senate on a 20-10 vote last year. But the House ran out of time to consider it, and now lawmakers are trying again.
“We are reaching out and we continue to call for our General Assembly to turn from discriminatory legislation and toward positive solutions to bullying,” the Tennessee Equality Projectwrote to its followers on Facebook.
They point out that this is the second suicide in Middle Tennessee in two months, with Cheatham County teenager Jacob Rogers killing himself December 7 after repeated bullying.