Another young suicide linked to bullying over sexuality

ROCHESTER, MI (NBC) - A 19-year-old Oakland University student took his own life on the Michigan campus Tuesday.

Police said the death of sophomore Corey Jackson from Warren, MI is still under investigation, but his family suspects he killed himself after coming out as gay. They believe he was bullied before his death.

The Oakland County medical examiner's office confirmed that Jackson's death was ruled a 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.

Evans said her grandson was a loving, giving, funny person. But when he began to realize his sexual preference, he withdrew.

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 open environment.

"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.

Student Ashley Kres said she can't imagine the heartache of losing a family member to suicide, and is bewildered that others could have had a problem with Jackson's sexual preference.

"You never think it's going to touch home. I never want to attend another vigil here again," Kres said.

Oakland University President Gary Russi sent an email to students, hoping to provide comfort, and said only time will heal the sorrow felt by his family and friends.

"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," he said.

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