As his 15-year-old son is laid to rest Sunday after committing suicide, an Illinois father is taking to the Internet and speaking out against the persistent bullying he believes led to the boy’s death.
"This bullying has to stop. People have to stop treating other people the way they do," 47-year-old Brad Lewis reportedly said in a seven-minute video posted to his Facebook page hours after his son’s death.
"Because some people just don't have the strength to overcome the humiliation, the continuation of being picked on constantly every day to the point that they have no out."
The Los Angeles Times reports Brad Lewis’ son Jordan shot himself Thursday and left behind a note in which he blamed bullying as the chief cause of his unhappiness.
"You wouldn't understand, Dad."
- Jordan Lewis, to his father
The suicide came on National Spirit Day -- an effort to raise awareness about bullying -- and a single day after Jordan Lewis watched an anti-bullying video in school that concluded in macabre fashion.
"At the end of the video, the kid that was being bullied went home and killed himself," Brad Lewis told The Times.
Following the video, Jordan Lewis, a Carterville High School sophomore in Carterville, Ill., reportedly texted a pal, saying he was considering harming himself.
Alarmed, the friend informed his grandmother, who in turn contacted local police after failing to get hold of Jordan’s parents.
Jordan Lewis lives with his mother in Calambria, and is divorced from Brad Lewis. Brad Lewis resides roughly two hours away from his son and ex-wife in Collinsville, Ill.
That night, police reportedly visited Jordan Lewis’ home in Calambria for what is described as “a wellness visit,” the results of which are as-of-yet unknown. But the following morning, or Thursday, Jordan Lewis called 911 after his mother had departed for work, pointed a gun at his heart and fired.
Brad Lewis, who works at an Illinois corrections facility, told The Times his son played football at Carterville High School his freshman year, but had inexplicably quit after a single practice in 2013.
"You wouldn't understand, Dad," Jordan Lewis replied to his father when questioned about the decision. "I'm being picked on at school."
The Williamson County Sheriff's Office informed The Times through a statement that it is looking into Jordan’s death, adding allegations of bullying are part of the investigation. Meanwhile, school administrators reportedly told Brad Lewis they have no record of reports of bullying aimed at his son.
A funeral for Jordan Lewis was scheduled in Marion, after which he would reportedly be buried . in Odd Fellows Cemetery, near his grandfather.
"My son knows me well enough, that if he couldn't get anything accomplished, I could take on what he wanted stopped," Lewis reportedly said, adding during his Internet video, "I just want this to stop."
Click for the story from The Los Angeles Times.