A 15-year-old high school freshman from Racine, Wisconsin committed suicide last week just days after coming out as transgender on Facebook, the victim of apparent bullying at school.
According to The Journal Times, 15-year-old Cameron Langrell’s announcement was posted weeks before the school year was set to end. Along with switching preferred pronouns to female, Cameron also opened up about being in a relationship with a boy.
Jamie and Eric Olender, Cameron’s parents, told WISN they were always very supportive of Cameron and fully accepted Cameron after Cameron came out to friends. Cameron was, however, the victim of severe bullying at school and Jamie says it didn’t get much better after coming out.
On Tuesday, the Olenders said officials at Horlick High School didn’t do enough to stop the bullying that eventually led to their child’s suicide. Even though Cameron’s parents spoke with school advisors about the situation directly, they failed to inform her that the bullying continued and began affecting Cameron’s attendance.
“You don’t want what we had when you come home for work and find your child. I would never wish that on another parent,” she said. “Our hope is that it stops here, that Cameron’s voice will be heard.”
“There needs to be more within the school, not just some outside resource. It needs to be taught in school,” Olender added, telling the Journal Times that the bullying Cameron received at school often spilled over onto social media.
Stacy Tapp, a spokesperson for the Racine Unified School District, denied the lack of resources for LGBT kids in the district. She said in a statement, “We are heartbroken over the loss of Cameron and we are doing everything we can to support our Horlick High School family. We have programs across the district, at every age level for student.”
WISN notes that Cameron isn’t the first teen to commit suicide due to bullying at Horlick High School. In 2013, 14-year-old Lexi Lopez also committed suicide after coming out as transgender.
A life celebration for Cameron, who was an avid piano player, dancer, singer, and future American Idol hopeful, will be hosted for anyone who would like to come by the Olender family at their home this Saturday. Those wishing to come should check out the Jamie Okay Olender page on Facebook.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Cameron’s family deal with the financial burden of the unexpected loss. “I wish he could see that he meant this much to so many people,” Cameron’s mother said.