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Parents Say Bullying Caused Mich. Teen’s Suicide

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Dec 7, 2012

The parents of a gay high school student from Michigan say that he took his own life last month because he faced intense and constant bullying, the Flint (Mich.) Journal/Mlive reports.

Josh Pacheco, a 17-year-old student from Fenton, Mich., (17 miles south of Flint), told his mother he was gay two months ago but committed suicide on Nov. 27 after being frequently harassed inside and outside of school, his parents say.

"My son was very funny and exceptionally sensitive and loving to other people's feelings," Pacheco's mother, Lynnette Capehart, told the Journal. "He was having problems with bullying. He didn't really want to tell us very much. It was very disheartening to me."

Capehart went on to say that officials from Linden High School, where Pacheco was a junior, never informed her that her son was having problems and was enduring bullying. The school system's superintendent, Ed Koeldo, claims harassment has never been reported to school staff.

"We weren't aware of any specifics. There's been a lot of stories that have turned up over the weekend that we are looking into," Koeldo said. He added, however, there will be new programs at the school to help students feel more comfortable about telling officials that they are being bullied.

The British newspaper the Daily Mail reports that a neighbor found Pacheco dead in his car when she went to check on the teen while he was home sick from school.

Apparently, before the student took his life, he posted a farewell quote from the "Lord of the Rings" on his Facebook in which he wrote, "I regret to announce that this is the end. I'm going now, I bid you all a very fond farewell. Goodbye." He also left a note in his vehicle that read, "I'm sorry I wasn't able to be strong enough."

According to the article, students and parents told Capehart about the bullying after her son died and said that he was pushed into lockers and teased. His mother also claims that teachers at his funeral told her that Pacheco was bullied, which contradicts Koledo's statements.

Pacheco's stepfather, Michael Capehart, said he will make sure the school takes action against the students who were involved in bullying the teen.

About 400 people attended Pacheco's funeral on Saturday and several attended a vigil held in his memory on Dec. 5.


  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-12-07 05:29:33

    The whole god damn school knew he was being bullied and nobody thought to tell his parents until afterward? Where where 10 of these 400 mourners when this boy needed them to intervene on his behalf?

  • BlondieSL, 2012-12-07 07:15:37

    I don’t know how. But somehow, we need to convince all people be bullied to tell officials, parents & peers...EVERY TIME!!It’s just not fair that certain assholes seem to need to DICTATE how others live their lives.I too was bullied in school & outside school too. Fortunately, I was unsuccessful in dying. Now I’m married to the most amazing man.. 20 yrs together & we are very heppy.HEY KIDS IDOES GET BETTER..IT GETS AMAZING!!! TAKK TO PPL. LET ALL KNOW WHO THE BULKIES ARE! OUT THEM!! :)

  • Parker, 2012-12-07 09:13:31

    This is a sad situation :(. My heart goes out to his family. The worst part of this is it was so preventable.

  • , 2012-12-07 13:07:41

    There is so much more that no one knows about, because it’s being hidden from the public. No one in the school knew, his parents didn’t know, and even his closest friends didn’t know he was being bullied. That’s because he wasn’t being bullied. Nothing like what is being spread around the world, and well maybe I don’t have the truth either, but I knew him very well and it just is unbelieveable to know he was bullied and didn’t tell anyone about it, because I really think he would. I truly think his parents are making this such a big deal so they can hide something. Something that was possibly going on behind the scenes, and I know that, that is the truth either but I do know he mentioned issues about home things. I’m just sick of reading these articles and knowing that there is a chance that none of it is the actual truth.

  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-12-08 11:12:53

    Well, you’ve just said a mouthful... anonymously. If you really knew this young man and truly cared about him, I’m sorry for your loss. More important though, you have a responsibility to take whatever information, however speculative, to the investigators of his case so they can consider every angle of possibility before closing the case. It’s the right thing to do to honor this boy.

  • Vassago, 2012-12-08 12:15:31

    Anonymous, 2012-12-07 13:07:41, may have a point. It’s suspicious that he committed the suicide couple weeks after he came out to his parents. It does get better, but if parents don’t accept you for who you are, that’s much worse than bullying.

  • , 2012-12-09 08:36:01

    I was bullied as well. I had my mothers gun in my hand ready to pull the trigger. Then I get a call from my best friend. She helped me get through the time. I have been in those shoes... I hated it.

  • , 2012-12-09 13:02:03

    cowardly people,another loss due to hate

  • , 2012-12-10 08:48:53

    I know Josh is in a better place now. I see clearly that ending ones life doesn’t change things here. I’m happy Josh is free now.

  • , 2012-12-13 02:54:47

    I feel bad I felt thr same way when I was in the army, I got harrased so much about being gay..I felt like suicide would get me outta there faster but I hurt myself and now I regret it

  • , 2013-01-08 20:56:10

    I am sorry for the family I think some one could of helped him

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