Let's work together against bullying and help bring the teen suicide rate down to zero

Jarrod Nickell, 18, Bullied to Death

with 33 comments

He wanted to play football for his new high school’s football team.  Unfortunately, even though he joined the team, he wasn’t allowed to because he had just transferred to his new school in Michigan, moving from Maryland.  As a transfer student, Michigan required more credits before being eligible to play.  Disappointed, but not dejected, he went on to wear his football jersey, #10, and cheer his school’s team on when they played.  Then, the bullying started.

They bullied him for wearing the football jersey and working the sidelines during the games.  That’s something I’ll probably never understand.  And, as we’ve heard far too many times, school authorities passed it off as boys being boys.  His step-mother, Michele had to intervene which, of course, only made it worse.  Now, he was bullied for being a “momma’s boy”, as well.  January 10, Jarrod ended the bullying he had endured by taking his own life.

There’s far more to the story, as you can imagine.  According to Michele, she and her husband have said all along that it was more than bullying that led Jarrod to end his life.  He’d also been dealing with depression from a young age.  He’d been living here in Maryland with his mother and step-father; however, once he turned 18, he moved to Michigan to live with his father and step-mother.

In the aftermath of Jarrod’s suicide, it’s reported that the Flushing Township police released a statement within 24 hours, sending letters home to the parent of his schoolmates, stating that bullying had nothing to do with his actions.  And, we’ve heard that before, as well.  Yet, it is confirmed by his step-mother that he was, indeed, bullied.  At times, severely so.  According to his step-mother:

The week prior to his death someone removed all the lugnuts from his tire and it came off while he was driving .. again not bullying

That goes beyond bullying, reaching into criminal activities: reckless endangerment and possibly even attempted murder.  But, boys will be boys.  As we’ve seen far, far too many times before, there was a breakneck rush to declare “bullying had nothing to do with…” Jarrod’s suicide.  And, whereas it’s acknowledged that bullying wasn’t the sole reason for the tragic event, clearly bullying…and, blatant bullying, was involved.

Javon Gill, 20, of Flint was a close a friend of Jarrod’s. Gill first met Jarrod in October at Jarrod sister’s Halloween party and they clicked — like brothers.

Gill said Jarrod confided in him, telling him he was having trouble focusing in school because of the bullying and that he missed having a lot of friends like he did in Maryland.

Who do these “authorities” check with before hastily committing to their “bullying wasn’t involved” stance?  Where do they get their information?  Why are they so eager to wash their hands of the situation when a young person has ended their lives?

“[Bullying] may not have been the only factor that pushed him, but it was a factor,” said James Nickell.

Here’s my take on this continuing issue:  we, the concerned citizens, family members, and friends of the bullycide victims need to resolve to hold these authorities’ feet to the proverbial fire and force them to take the bullying and ensuing teen suicide issue for what it is.  It’s a plague.  It’s an epidemic for our society.  To brush these events off as “boys will be boys” or “bullying has always been around” or whatever other catch-phrase they chose to absolve themselves of any responsibility or accountability is absolutely not acceptable.  However, we can continue to say that for as long as we want.  It won’t be until we come up with a solution, a solid plan, that holds their feet to the fire in each of these cases.  The plain, sad truth is that they are just not taking these cases seriously, regardless of what they say in attempt to make us believe otherwise.  They can argue that point all they want, but the proof is right in our faces.

Currently, one of the major news stories I hear every day (many times every day) is about this meningitis outbreak that’s been traced back to tainted steroids having been injected.  Currently, at least 20 people have died from this outbreak.  And, of course, officials are working hard to end the outbreak, including holding people accountable.  After all, 20 people have died from it.  Conversely, I’ve personally written about over 20 teen suicide just since the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year!!  Where is the outrage over that!?  Where is the media coverage on the bullying/teen suicide phenomena?  Where is the accountability when there are clear-cut cases of bullying?  Am I minimizing the deadly outbreak of meningitis?  Absolutely not.  What I am saying, though, is that for whatever reason, these cases of bullying, cyberbullying, and teen suicide are being treated as “oh well”.  “Boys will be boys”.  In some cases, the victim is found to blame…for being bullied!!  What I am saying is that it’s long past time for this to be treated with the urgency that it screams to be treated with.  This is a 5-alarm blaze, but it’s being treated as a brush fire.  For the sake of the thousands of teens who end their lives annually, that’s a grave injustice.  For their families, it’s a slap in the face.

Jarrod Nickell was an Eagle Scout, an assistant Cub Scout leader, a teenager who sometimes struggled and, some say, a victim of bullying.  He said he planned to join the Marine Corps following graduation.  He’d even already talked to a recruiter and started training.  He was living a promising, exciting life.  And, now he’s gone.

For Jarrod’s parents, it’s an ongoing struggle as they learn to cope without their beloved son.  The pain is still very raw.  You can offer your condolences and support on this facebook page set up in Jarrod’s memory.


33 Responses

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  1. I am sorry for your loss. It saddens me that this still happens. May the peace of God be with you in this time of loss and grief


    Ron Simmons

    October 22, 2012 at 3:32 am

  2. My son was being bullied in a class and after many attempts to solve the issue , I requested he be transferred . They refused to do it until I reminded them that I had 2 kids in their school who would both be transferring to a different school ( we, luckily, live in a triangle of 3 school districts, 2 of which we are eligible to attend.) The moment they saw their money leaving the school, they were suddenly able to find room for him in a different class. They didnt care about my son. they cared that they would lose state funding that is based on a head count of students. It makes me sick to see the kind of people who are in control of our children when they leave our home every day. In light of this , I would suggest to other parents, that threatening a transfer or to home school
    if you arent being taken seriously. The only way to get results is to hit some people in the wallet

    Carolyn Meert

    October 22, 2012 at 4:54 am

  3. I knew Jarrod Nickell personally from the Michigan high school mentioned in this article. It was devastating to hear of what happened, especially after another tragic passing the same year concerning another student from the same school. I remembered chatting with him during the school days, either in the hallway between classes or in our CAD class. He was a great friend and he will be dearly missed. God bless him and his family.

    -Mike Rigan

    Michael Rigan

    October 23, 2012 at 5:14 am

  4. Thank you for writing this. I am one of the many friends from Maryland that Jarrod talked about. We were in the same Boy Scout troop together and I have many fond memories of him. When I learned he committed suicide I just couldn’t believe it. I am now under consideration for becoming an Eagle Scout and I do this in his memory. The world is a darker place without him in it.


    October 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    • Daniel, that would be a wonderful sentiment to pursue your Eagle Scout badge in Jarrod’s honor. He was extremely fond of scouts & attaining his Eagle Scout level was something that he was very proud of. I hope you too will get to achieve this honor.


      October 23, 2012 at 11:29 pm

  5. You’ve obviously not checked your facts …… Jarrod was NOT kicked out of the house in Md, he left before he turned 18 with the luring promise of getting his driver’s liscence & more empty promises that never came true. Also, Jarrod did not have a car – or even a bicycle so the “story” about the lug nuts being removed from his car is just another wrong fact to your article.

    Jarrod was a warm, loving, caring friend, brother, son, and family member to a huge family that misses him daily.

    Get your facts straight before writing slanderous words that are FALSE.


    October 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    • I offer my apology if anything in the article is inaccurate. However, the “facts” I received were sent to me from someone very close to the situation.

      Ron Kemp

      October 23, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    • That “source” has been spreading lies about Jarrod for a long time now. I just can’t sit by & let people lie about him anymore. I do understand that you did not personally know him; but maybe you should have verified what you were told about him before writing a blog for the entire world to see …. That “source” has been doing nothing but spreading lies & false accusations about a situation that they knew nothing about.


      October 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      • The blog post has been edited. Please refresh your browser and re-read it. Let me know if the edit is more acceptable for you. Thanks for contacting me.

        Ron Kemp

        October 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm

  6. Thank you very much.


    October 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm

  7. You can confirm with Amy Wilson, Kelly Kosterius and multiple others that Jarrod was kicked out of the house by his step father and his mother. Whomever claims to know was not talking to Jarrod . It is amazing how many of his best friends showed up after he died but none while he was living. One in particular that like to spread stories when she had not spoke to him in months (i believe the quote was I HATE YOU) You can confirm that he did have a truck he drove (a black ford) I am sure you can also get copies of the letter that was left if you ask. I would especially ask for the letter he left his Bio mother . You could get the copies of the face book message he sent to friends and family . Also you can see the post on his stepmothers Facebook about someone removing the lugnuts off the truck the day it happened. I believe it was also on his sister face book as she was also in the truck when it happened as well as a friend of theirs. The tow truck bill can also be requested. So you are being bullied by someone who had no even spoke to him but listening to the lies of people that do not want to admit their part in this .


    October 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm

  8. Michele King Nickell Michele King Nickell
    well Jarrod is on his way here . He will be living with us and doing his senior year here
    Like · · Unfollow Post · August 11, 2011 at 11:19pm
    Seen by 52
    Lori Watson, Buffy Smart and Lisa Miller Vargo like this.

    Jeannette Crary That’s a good thing, right?
    August 11, 2011 at 11:21pm · Like · 1

    Lisa Miller Vargo Good luck, Michele! My teenage boy is on his way to college and I am counting down the days ( ;
    August 12, 2011 at 12:03am · Like

    Michele King Nickell yes it is , but it is such BS that their mother allows this man to kick both boys out during senior year .. Jonn graduated from here .
    August 12, 2011 at 12:04am · Like

    Michele King Nickell oh a good note he will be playing football and he is KICK ASS at it he hasn’t been able to play in 3 year cause his mom put him at a school with no FB . I already spoke with coach he has practice monday morning woot woot
    August 12, 2011 at 12:05am · Like · 3

    Caralee Doerksen Awesome! He will be much happier at your house, and yay for football!
    August 12, 2011 at 9:40am · Like

    Jeannette Crary Michele King Nickell — I know, I’ve never understood women who choose a man over their own children. Their flesh and blood – but it happens all the time. I’m sure (despite having to leave his friends) things will be best for him with you guys.
    August 12, 2011 at 11:57am · Like
    21 minutes ago · Like

    Taken directly off the page


    October 24, 2012 at 12:03 am

    • Doesn’t mean Michele was telling the truth ….


      October 24, 2012 at 12:07 am

      • seriously… that same story can be confirmed by other people coming right out of his mouth . Talk to his girlfriend Kelly
        you are saying thing you have no clue about!


        October 24, 2012 at 12:09 am

        • An kelley truly was neber able to know Jarrod like we here in MD did.

          amy wilson

          October 24, 2012 at 2:01 am

          • She knows what he said .

            Michele Nickell

            October 24, 2012 at 2:56 am

      • Jarrod K. Nickell
        hey hows college?

        September 10, 2011Allison Herring
        pretty great(:

        September 10, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        thats good…
        i moved

        September 10, 2011Allison Herring
        yupp. to where?

        September 10, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell

        September 10, 2011Allison Herring
        oh wow. thats far

        September 10, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        1360 Miles away

        September 10, 2011Allison Herring
        wow. why ya move and hows it going there?

        September 10, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        well my mom was basically being a bitch and not fighting my S. dad for what he did to me. and i just got tired of all of the drama that the TEACHERS were making for me.

        September 10, 2011Allison Herring
        so did your family move or you?

        September 10, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        just me
        i moved to my dads

        September 10, 2011Allison Herring
        oh okay.

        September 10, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        well have fun at college
        take good care of yourself:)

        September 10, 2011Allison Herring
        thanks you too

        how about from Jarrod ?


        October 24, 2012 at 12:14 am

      • bully2

        September 27, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        gotta question for ya
        Do you ever overhear the other varsity guys talk about me?

        September 27, 2011Bryce Holton
        not really no one really mentions yea
        that just laugh about the red eagle thing on here haha

        September 27, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        okay thanks man

        September 27, 2011Bryce Holton
        no prob

        September 27, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        its just i walked into phys. fitness and Ryan and Hebe pointed at me and said “That Fucker”

        February 18Jarrod K. Nickell

        August 27, 2011Josh James Oakes
        so hows nd so far this year

        August 27, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        well I dont go there anymore. i moved to michigan.

        August 27, 2011Josh James Oakes
        yo foreal?

        August 27, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        i moved at the beginning of august.

        August 27, 2011Josh James Oakes
        do you like it there?

        August 27, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        yeah. alot better.

        about an hour agoJarrod K. Nickell

        September 11, 2011Theycall Mee Jazzyp
        ahw . there is probably nothing you could have done hun . and we miss you too ! it sucks you had to leave on senior year

        September 11, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        well yeah. but it was because of the drama going on back home.

        September 11, 2011Theycall Mee Jazzyp
        tru that . people stay wit drama round here smh

        about an hour agoJarrod K. Nickell

        September 11, 2011Theycall Mee Jazzyp
        ahw . there is probably nothing you could have done hun . and we miss you too ! it sucks you had to leave on senior year

        September 11, 2011Jarrod K. Nickell
        well yeah. but it was because of the drama going on back home.

        September 11, 2011Theycall Mee Jazzyp
        tru that . people stay wit drama round here smh



        October 24, 2012 at 12:16 am

  9. Michele King Nickell
    Something may happen after all with our school district regarding Jarrod. One of the students contacted me last night and wanted to know if the school had done anything yet. When I told her no she let me know that the students are now doing something with parent permission. They have the copy of some letters and someone has phone video of what was going on. I don’t know if you remember the tire came off the truck the week before while it was being driven all 5 lugs where gone . One of the letters ref the boys that did it. Now waiting to hear what happens next they are the ones that are taking it to the police. So 7 months later we may have some answers.
    Like · · Unfollow Post · August 10 at 7:42am near Flushing

    “another one taken”


    October 24, 2012 at 12:07 am

  10. Jarrod told me that he was kicked out of his house in Maryland.


    October 24, 2012 at 1:18 am

  11. Michelle how dare you bring my name into this conversation….I NEVER told you that Jarrod was kicked out of his home..jarrod left on his own accord…even after I stressed to him that it was not a good idea…Forgive me me if this hurts you but I strongly believe with every ounce of love that I have for Jarrod that had he listened n remained in Md. I wld not have to visit him at his current location. His mother did all she cld for her son…but like everything eles in this hard life she cld not have had complete control over somebody that was pushin back as hard as she was

    amy wilson

    October 24, 2012 at 1:55 am

    • I can post for myself… I will post the text Amy. whose camper did he hide in ? who was sneaking him food ? who kept it a secret from their husband? Who told us how bad it was there? I am sorry you remain friend with some of the family but I am sure they didn’t even know what was going on. I don’t think his entire family is bad. I just can speak of the ones I dealt with.

      Michele Nickell

      October 24, 2012 at 2:51 am

  12. as she was pushin him to do better..we have absolute control over no one…in the future keep my name out of it…his mother n I may no longer b friends but I will always defend her for the simple fact that shes a mom…n truly misses her son everday…

    amy wilson

    October 24, 2012 at 1:59 am

    • yes, and we don’t . We love the comments from people that didn’t talk to him that know everything because his mother told them. The same person he left that lovely letter t . He was doing good . Then people started messing with him. Ask her about mother’s day “great present”

      Michele Nickell

      October 24, 2012 at 2:55 am

      • What kind of a low life piece of crap goes to this extent & dishonors the good name of someone who is no longer here to explain things for himself ???? He was in deep pain … After 9 months; can’t you just STOP !? I can only hope that he is in a better place & is at peace.


        October 24, 2012 at 3:06 am

        • some that has to hide their name. grow up

          Michele Nickell

          October 24, 2012 at 3:24 am

  13. I wish Jarrod never left, maybe he would still be here and he wouldn’t have had to go through all the B.S. I love and miss him, and whoever hurt and bullied that boy, hope you feel the guilt and know you helped caused it.


    October 24, 2012 at 2:59 am

    • It wasn’t only in MI . There are text from about it going on in MD . That he had to make the “fat Kid” jokes about himself so it didn’t hurt as bad when people messed with him about his weight. It said he had tears in his eyes sometime but just he said it was becasue he was laughing so people didn’t know he was crying inside. So before everyone jumps all over me I am tired of the rumors, the lies and the speculations. There is a bunch you don’t know. He was such a good kid, he tried so hard to be accepted. He truly hurt when someone did not like him. It was like an arrow through his heart. We talked for hours. He told us things that made us sob that he went through. So if you have to post without your name you are the one causing speculation and dishonoring him. He would not hide his name to stand up for any of you if he thought you were being wronged. But you do not have that same respect. I will defend him forever and I will let everyone see his words. Because they are his words, his story and without them you can’t even begin to understand him .

      Michele Nickell

      October 24, 2012 at 3:46 am

      • Actually I don’t know how to put my name but its brandy parks if you must know. I am not saying anything about you? I’m saying point blank anyone who picked on him. I grew up with him when he started at Hurlock Elementary and no I am not hiding anything nor my name. I don’t care if your his step mom or what but don’t you ever dare say I don’t have respect for Jarrod again lady, I stood by him here and I would now. You do not know me nor the relationship we shared. He protected his friends and you should know that he wouldn’t let anyone even his family talk to them the way you just did.


        November 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm

  14. Michele, I don’t know why I’m being dragged into this recent article ….. This is the first I’ve heard about it. I assume you think of me as “friend” – but I am not.


    October 24, 2012 at 8:58 am

    • I am not sure what you are talking about or who you are ?

      Michele Nickell

      October 24, 2012 at 10:46 pm

  15. […] Jarrod Nickell, 18, Bullied to Death ( […]

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