N.Y. Anti-Bullying Crusader Takes His Own Life Near Anniversary Of Son’s Death

Kevin Jacobsen Fought For Revamping Of Laws Protecting Teenagers

MONROE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It is an unimaginable loss for a Hudson Valley family.

A father who became an anti-bullying advocate after losing his son to suicide, has now taken his own life, reports CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

A shadow of grief is once again upon a house in Orange County, following the weekend suicide of Kevin Jacobsen.

“That whole family to go through this twice now, I just can’t believe it,” neighbor Jacqui Vega said.

“There’s never an answer to it. It’s sad, you know. That’s all I can say. Just keep ’em in your prayers and hope the wife can carry on,” added resident Bill Hale.

Back in September, Wanda and Kevin Jacobsen spoke about the suicide death of their son, Kameron, who suffered physical, verbal and cyber bullying.

“We don’t want Kameron or any of these kids to have died in vain,” Kevin Jacobsen said at the time.

In their grief the Jacobsens found comfort in creating the “Kindness Above Malice” foundation to help other bullied teens.

In the wake of Kameron’s death by suicide, Kevin Jacobsen was building quite a reputation as an advocate — working at the local, state and even the federal level on anti-bullying legislaton.

Friends told Aiello privately they were stunned to learn of his death this weekend and believe the upcoming year anniversary of losing his son weighed heavily on Kevin Jacobsen.

Robin Goodman is an expert on the grieving process.

“What you have is an anniversary, and we know that if someone has had a traumatic response and experienced something traumatic, that anniversary or other kinds of reminders can trigger those overwhelming feelings of shock and sadness and disbelief,” Dr. Goodman said.

Kevin Jacobsen leaves behind a wife and two children.

A state legislator was working with Kevin Jacobsen to revamp New York’s anti-bullying laws. Her office hopes to introduce the bill in the next month or two.

  • Angel

    God I pray for the ignorants that leave hurtful messages on this site. Please have compassion for them as your son our Lord Jesus Christ asked for forgiveness for those who placed him on the cross when he said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” This world is an evil place with evil people inhabiting it. Please heal the insecure and the cruel ones for they need your comfort more than those who have chosen to leave this world before their time. Bless those who have taken time to send loving words those mean a lot to a family in grief.

  • Annie Sisk

    Can you say “shame on you”? I can. Shame on you.

  • Cece

    My deepest condolences to the Jacobson family.

  • http://www.allucanbe.wordpress.com AllUCanBe

    I am disgusted that CBS would stand on the front lawn of the Jacobsen’s house showing their private home and also naming the location. It is not CBS’ place to announce to the world that this family has lost a second family member to suicide, that was for his wife and family to decide.

    The further speculation as to why Kevin took his life is nothing but that – speculation. I’m surprised that a Grief Expert, Dr. Robin Goodman would participate in the video also speculating that the upcoming anniversary of Kam’s death could be the cause. Maybe this clip of Dr. Goodman was done separately for something else, but if not and it was specific to the Jacobsen loss, she should know better from a grief perspective to be part of announcing something so private.

    As I read through the many hurtful comments, I’m astounded at how many are so illiterate, so misinformed and their extreme lack of compassion. Unless and until you have experienced a suicide loss, you cannot possibly know the depth of pain, grief and loss a person feels or how it impacts and tears apart those left behind.

    Those who are suicidal are often not in a clear state of mind. Almost 90% of all suicides involve some form of mental illness, depression being a very common one. Those who are suicidal have lost all hope of things ever getting better, of the pain and turmoil ever stopping, they’ve lost hope period. They are so consumed by their own pain and anguish, that they somehow arrive at a decision that the only way to escape their pain is to end their lives. It is not a matter of courage or strength, it is not that they don’t love or care about their loved ones left behind – it IS about their pain ending and that they’ve reached their limits and are completely overwhelmed. They unfortunately make a very wrong decision as to how best go on.

    I hope CBS will remove the offensive and hurtful comments already on here and will stop further commenting so the ignorance and woefully misinformed who hide behind their computers can no longer spew their very hurtful opinions.

    FYI CBS – here is a link from the AFSP media guidelines on how to cover a suicide responsibly. You also did not once include a suicide hotline number for people who may need help. 1-800-273-TALK http://www.afsp.org/media

  • Satyiagraha

    Sad that we live in an such an agressive, intolerant ,abusive society that can cause such unbearable emotional ,spiritual,anguish that it causes some of us to feel the only choice left is to take one’s own life. I’m sorry if you work for an abusive boss, you shouldn’t have to and you should contact your personnel department.But please do not judge him, no one can know the anguish of losing a child unless they have experience it

  • Mary Phillips

    Kevin’s death is tragic and shows us what a problem bullying really is. I hope people find this website helpful (OnlineCEUcredit.com/edu/bullying/ttt) because it has great information about how to deal with taunting, teasing, and tormenting.

  • Jenny

    what’s selfish and cowardly is using this as a platform to spew your premature judgments on suicide. you accuse this man of not loving his family enough, yet you’re here posting comments that will hurt them further. calling their father a coward? where’s the sense in that?

    i don’t think anyone here is “pro-suicide”, so stop acting like it. while you may disagree with his decision, at least have some respect for the deceased.

    r.i.p. kevin. i’m sorry you were in so much pain. your family is in my thoughts.

    KIDS, if you’re reading this– don’t listen to these people. they don’t know your father, you do. there are always going to be people in this world that are angry and sad about their own lives… and to deal with it, they have to attack others to bring them down to their level. from what i’ve read, your father was a wonderful man trying to make a difference in the world. he has my respect. much love to you all

  • Maverick

    First of all, deep condolences to the extended family if they are on here reading this.
    Second of all, bullying is a cruel and unfortunate part of both the human and animal kingdom. However, that does not mean it has to be accepted in a law-abiding, civil society. If a kid is old enough to consistently and relentlessly bully his/her peers, I say he is old enough to be subjected to maximum legal and criminal justice. Nothing says “dis-incentive” like 5 years in juvenile detention! So we either criminalize bullying and equate it with aggravated assault and/or battery, or we deal with more and more incidents of vigilante justice by the victims and their parents. Quite frankly, I would not have shed a tear if Mr. Jacobsen took out 2 or 3 of Kameron’s tormentors before committing suicide. He could have easily done so, since he was on his way out anyway.Kameron’s tormentors lucked out this time. Bullies beware…

    • Nina

      I don’t think wishing that a grown man took the life of teenagers (13-15 years of age) is responsible. Will more dead kids fix anything? You don’t think more violence will perpetuate more violence? Do you think this kid who killed himself never bullied anyone? Suffering does not make you a better person-it just makes you suffer. The suffering the kid who killed himself felt does not mean he was a hero. It is a terrible thing that happened, of course. This child may have been completely innocent, compassionate, etc. and I won’t add insult to the injury by suggesting it’s possible that he was not. However, I’m not sure it’s always true that every teen who is bullied is “kind” or is not culpable for hurting some other teen at some point. We should not pretend that a person cannot be both a bully and be bullied. This dynamic is quite common with teens. They hurt each other. And worse, kids are great at hiding it and parents are even better at being blind to it. At some point, we need to recognize that not a single one of us is perfect, we all hurt each other and sometimes it’s on purpose. Instead of condemning, we should help teens to develop into better people who see that they can have a bright future.

  • Amy

    It is so sad i wish the family all the support they need in this trubbling times, it is a sad fack that if a loved one comments suicide then there is a 50% chance that someone eles in the family will as well, at the people leaveing mean comments his son ended his life becouse of rude people like you who talk befor you speack have you never hurd if you dont have nothing nice to say dont say anything at all or did your moms leave you after haveing you?? to the family and frineds if you need help or someone to talk to there is a suiced provention hot line number 1800/273/talk they are there to help if yoou are looking for help with surving a suiced please look in to the amaracan foundation for suicide provention at http://www.afsp.org. may god bless you and keep you close in this hard times


  • Kelly

    I have lost a child to suicide. Only those that have suffered this loss can understand the pain & overwhelming feelings of loss & hoplessness that can overcome you. It angers me that people can be so flippant & hurtful. You don’t know what was going on in his mind & heart.

    Do not speak of things you have no knowledge or experience with. To do so, makes you the loser

    • amy

      i am so sorry for your loss i may not understand the pain but i try and work towards a gole in life with the afsp.org if there is anything they can do for you and your loss cheek them out. I hope you are doing ok and know that god took your child hope and you will see him or her some day..

      with much love and support


  • KPMc

    “It takes tremendous strength of will… …to go through with it (suicide)”

    NO… It takes tremendous strength of will to carry on despite the problems. To be there for your family even though you are hurting because you sacrifice your own well-being for theirs.

    I don’t want to jump on people in a trying time but equating suicide with strength while spouse and children have to carry on and deal with it is supremely idiotic.

    How about we stop making suicide an acceptable choice?

    • Robin Mavis

      What you need to understand is that at that particular moment, the person doesn’t feel he has choices. In order to address suicide you really do need to understand what is happening to the mind of that person. Despondancy, overwhelming grief prevents the person from seeing any other way of making the pain go away except through ending their life.

      I would not say that it is strength of will that allows someone to take their life. That is a little bit twisted way of thinking about it. What is happening is that the desire to have the pain and hopelessness go away, overcomes the will and strength to carry on. When someone looses hope in such a profound way, the will and strength to go on are lost too.

      Please be respectful and thoughtful about this subject and have compassion for one another.

  • RJ

    Leave the family alone. They have their own questions and concerns to worry about. They don’t need to hear the ridicule from other people. They need support to carry on emotionally and financially to get through this grief. No family is immune – it could happen to you.

  • bullett

    What a sad ending to a productive life.

  • Troy

    A true friend ? yeah right ….. and by making such a comment and not putting your name down to me makes you the coward. People that don’t suffer from depression ect just don’t understand the depth of suffering someone goes thru. the man just didn’t wake up having a bad day . have a heart and leave comments and thoughts like that to yourself

    • zang

      truly agree with Troy, how dare you make those comments! A true friend? what was the end game for these repulsive words, what was to gain? Did you think you were enlightening anyone, the man was obviously in pain and could NOT think straight…depression is excruciatingly painful…no person in their right mindset would do this, a loss of a child can do damage like nothing else. I feel for the pain this man went through, and now for this poor family. This is so sad, I do not know them, but I could cry thinking of their loss. Those bullies were lucky that this man didn’t take them with him, being so upset.

  • Joel

    Well, I guess it’s better than either one of them shooting up a school or a post office and going out in a blaze of glory.

  • Alan Bower

    Grief is an illness or didn’t you know that?

  • Susan Gary

    I have never seen such cruelty and disregard like this in my life. Vicki was right. Stop the comments!

  • Marci

    As a member of the family, I’d like to tell all you who judge that you don’t know anything until you walk in someone’s shoes. A family of cowards?? Really? That’s how you talk about people who have found life so painful that they don’t know what to do with their feelings? I hope life doesn’t take a bad turn on you and challenge you, he who is so brave and courageous in your anonymity.

  • mj

    ANYONE who thinks commiting suicide is easy has no idea what they are talking about. you have to be totally at the end of your sanity limits . second … when a person is THAT far gone they aren’t thinking logically about their survivors. they are NOT cowards , they are people pushed to their limit tht see no other real solution. its very easy for peopl;e to judge them when they themselves have NEVER been pushed that far .. don’t judge until you have been in the same situation

  • Mrs. H

    Vicki I agree 1000 percent. Keep your opinions to yourselves and maybe just for a minute be a compassionate human and say a prayer for a man so broken by insurmountable pain that he felt no other recourse. I bet none of you would want to be in his shoes. My prayers to the Jacobsen family in your time of sorrow.

  • Rob Apted

    Kippyyy. You are an ass!!

  • Tragic

    I have heard others use the term “selfish” as it relates to individuals who have committed suicide. While I understand the sentiment, i think the old adage “you can’t really judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes” is something we should all think about before characterizing these victims. Yes, they are all victims; victims of hate, victims of torment and above all, victims of a society without a conscious.

    My heart goes out to his family and friends who are suffering after this tragic loss. We should all take this opportunity to stand up for our fellow man.

    • Charlie

      perfectly put,!
      as for kippyyyy, you’re a moron, go crawl back under that rock, and disappear, you dolt

      • selfish no mistake yes

        He should of put his wife and other 2 children first.He is setting them up for the same fate..It is so sad but he should of been there to help his kids thru the anniversary of this death.And yes I been thru this so not speaking out of my a–..

  • Vicki Wallace

    None of you have any idea what you are talking about. You didn’t know the son, the father or the family and you have no right to say such incredibly mean things or be so cruel. I knew this man and he was a wonderful loving man who was in great pain from losing his son. If you think that makes him a loser you know nothing! Don’t comment on anything until you walk in someone else’s shoes. Please have some decency and stop the comments as this family is grievinng and does not need to see these comments!

    • Jojo

      If you knew this man maybe you should have saw the signs. It is obvious that this family (fathers side) has trouble dealing with life and grief. Hopefully the mother sees this and gets professional help for the other children so suicide does not become a cycle in this family. I guess his grief was so big that he did not care about anyone else (wife, kids) . They family will also be left with nothing. It is the act of a coward.

  • R

    Can’t imagine the suffering this man went though, but how selfish. Now his son did die in vain, the bullies won again. In addition, his other kids have got to feel like they didn’t matter at all.

  • Kippyyyy

    What a selfish loser. Like son like father

    • Annie Sisk

      Shame on you, too.

    • MJ

      you are an IDIOT

      • zang

        what a P.O.S. Kippyyyy should shut your weasel mouth..

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