Local prosecutors believe bullying drove Lennon Baldwin (15), from New Jersey, to commit suicide last Wednesday.
The teenager was reportedly driven to suicide by his classmates at Morristown High School. He hung himself shortly after arriving home from school at his Morris Township home.
Speaking to NJ.com, Danny Perez (16) said his Baldwin had been bullied online. He said “I don’t know who it was, but apparently there was a group of kids terrorizing him.”
Mark Koba, the father of a schoolmate said “We had no idea he was hurting and that adds to the tragedy. To come to find out it was suicide — we had no indication. It goes to show you how wrong you can be about someone and their pain.”
On Friday afternoon a prayer service was held at Assumption Church, Morristown with hundreds in attendance. After the service some 60 classmates gathered for a candlelit vigil before moving to a private location.
Baldwin’s funeral took place on Monday. Speaking to the congregation John Baldwin, the teen’s father, asked children to seek help from their parents if they felt overwhelmed. He said parent’s unconditional love means there’s never a problem too big they can’t tackle.
Senior Pastor Neill Tolboom who presided over the sermon also called on the mourners to be kinder to one another. He added some youth can't see hope and that can cause people to die, according to New Jersey Hills reports.
Tributes to Baldwin have been posted on YouTube and a Facebook memorial page set up by friends.
Beneath one video a friend wrote “No one should ever be bullied to the point where they feel they need to take their own life R.I.P. buddy! I will never forget you.”
In another video a friend filmed himself sketching a portrait of Lennon. He wrote “Lennon was a great kid.
“He was hilarious and always had a way of putting a smile on your face. He was easy to talk to and just a great guy all around.
“It’s sad to know he left so sudden, but I know he’s in a better and safer place. I'm sure he'll be watching down on his friends and family. He'll be missed forever.”
Baldwin loved bowling, skateboarding and music. His bowling coach, Joe Mottola, said “He wasn't the kid standing in the corner, disheveled…He was with the mix, he was with everybody.
“When I walk into bowling alley and I’m waiting for practice to start it will not be the same. My heart is going to sink.”
He added that he blames the parents of the kids in the town who had bullied Baldwin. He said they had done “a really horrible job of raising their children”.
Here’s NBC’s report:
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