Phillip Parker of Gordonsville,
Tennessee took his own life last week after suffering years of
bullying for being gay, NBC affiliate WSMV
More than 100 friends and family
members gathered on Saturday to remember Phillip's short life.
“He was fun, he was energetic, he was
happy,” said Gena Parker, Phillip's mother.
“He kept telling me he had a rock on
his chest,” said Ruby Harris, Phillip's grandmother. “He just
wanted to take the rock off where he could breathe.”
Phillip's father, Phillip Parker,
added: “That's my son. I love him. I miss him. He shouldn't have
had to kill himself to be brought to life.”
Phillip's family said that the teen had
suffered taunting and harassment at the hands of a group students.
They said the bullying worsened after they reported their concerns to
school officials at Gordonsville High School on multiple occasions.
Phillip's death follows the November
suicide of Jacob Rogers, a senior at Cheatham County Central High
School in Ashland City, Tennessee.
School officials in Gordonsville will
address the crisis with students on Monday.
Plans for a memorial fund in Phillip's
name are also underway, friends said.