MORRISTOWN, NJ (CBSNewYork) — Friends and family gathered Monday morning to remember a New Jersey teen who may have been driven to suicide by school bullies.
Police are investigating whether bullying drove Lennon to kill himself. Friends tell CBS 2 that a group of three students had been taunting and even robbed Lennon right before he took his own life.
“From what I hear, he was being bullied by three people and they robbed him and jumped him and took everything,” said student Shannon Ayers.
Monday morning, classmates gathered around Lennon’s casket as it was brought into the Morristown United Methodist Church.
The parents of 15-year-old say they never imagined this day would come and his fellow students are still shocked by the loss.
“The community is in pain,” Senior Pastor Neill Tolboom told CBS 2’s Rachel Stockman. “Whenever you lose someone as precious as 15-year-old boy, particularly to suicide, a community needs to take some reflection and figure out where the hope was lost, why aren’t we as kind to each other.”
A friend posted a video tribute on YouTube of Lennon’s portrait, saying Lennon always put a smile on his face.
Lennon loved music, played the guitar and was a championship bowler who had already won college scholarships.
“He was a quite kid, a good bowler,” said coach Dave Digger. “Everybody loved him. Lennon loved it down there. We are just so saddened that this happened.”
He enjoyed camping, skiing and spending time with his family.
“He was quiet, but at the same time he was hilarious and had a good sense of humor,” said student Danny Perez.
As prosecutors investigate exactly what drove Lennon to suicide, family and friends are trying to cope with the young boy’s death.
“I think it’s just sad that people are pointing fingers,” said Tolboom. “Right now, the community just needs to come together and find a way to be kinder and gentler with each other.”
In his obituary, his family said all Lennon really wanted was to be loved, respected and accepted by his peers.
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