ROCHESTER HILLS, MICHIGAN – A 19-year-old Oakland University student took his own life on campus Tuesday.
OU police said the death of sophomore Corey Jackson from Warren is still under investigation.
The Oakland County medical examiner’s office confirmed that Jackson’s death had been ruled a suicide.
“Any death in the campus community diminishes us all. We know there will be no quick antidote for the pain that Corey’s sudden death has caused, and that only time can heal the sorrow felt by his family and friends,” said Oakland University President Gary Russi in an e-mail to students. “In our mourning, I am hopeful that we will not focus on the manner of Corey’s death, but rather celebrate the life he lived and the people he touched.”
Jackson’s family said he recently revealed to them that he was a homosexual, and that they believe he was bullied over his sexual orientation. They think the bullying led him to commit suicide.
“I believe (it happened) because he recently realized he was a homosexual and he was getting pressured at school by his peers because he told his family and nothing changed here,” said grandmother Carolyn Evans. “Corey was the most loving, giving, funny person. He had the most wonderful personality. He had cousins from ages 14 down to 2 and he never said a bad word about anybody. When he went to school and he realized his sexual preference had changed, he changed completely. He withdrew.”
Evans said her grandson had always been outgoing and loving before suddenly becoming self-conscious about himself.
Jackson’s Aunt, Kim Jones, said Corey revealed to her he was having a difficult time.
“He said ‘I don’t know what’s wrong. Ever since I came out people are treating me different. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where I belong,” Jones said.
Student Legislator Darrell Boyd said the campus has a very accepting enviconrment.
“Oakland’s an accepting school and we’re pretty broad and diverse so it’s pretty shocking something like that would happen here,” he said.
Another student, Ashley Kres said, “I have a lot of family members and friends who live a gay lifestyle and I couldn’t imagine someone losing someone over that. It seems like a normal life to me and doesn’t seem so out of the ordinary.” She added, “You never think it’s going to touch home. I never want to attend another vigil here again.”
Friends and family of Jackson gathered Tuesday at Van Wagoner Hall to comfort each other. At 10 p.m. Wednesday night they will gather again to celebrate his life at the bridge that crosses Bear Lake.
There have been a string of gay suicides lately on college campuses. Recently Tyler Clementi, from Rutgers, jumped from George Washington Bridge, taking his own life.
from Click On Detroit
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