Local teen's suicide prompts bullying awareness


Kendall Downing

CARTERVILLE, Ill. - Family members of a local teen who killed himself last week hope they can raise awareness about bullying and save lives.

Jordan Lewis, 15, shot himself last Thursday. He was a sophomore at Carterville High School in Williamson County. Lewis left a suicide note saying he couldn't take the bullying anymore.

His father Brad posted a video about bullying on Facebook shortly after his son's death. We first showed it to you last Friday.

Jordan's story and his father's pleas to stop bullying are getting national attention. Family members are talking to anyone who will listen.

Burying her brother Jordan on Sunday was tough for Deeanna Lewis.

"It's something that nobody should ever have to live with," she said.

But even tougher is knowing her brother held the hurt from bullying inside, only voicing it once to his father.

"He did not open up and tell us. I think that's what hurts the most. He always had a place to stay if he needed it. He always had a place to stay," she said.

Deeanna has a Facebook page of her own called "Stop The Bullying."

Her father Brad now runs a website called "Jordan's Voice Against Bullying."

Lewis told Local 6 he wants to take his concerns to the Carterville school district, but he said he's being met with some resistance.

The district has a Community Focus Group Session at Carterville High School on Monday night at 7 p.m. Lewis claims Superintendent Bob Prusator doesn't want him there.

But the superintendent told Local 6 on Friday afternoon the meeting has a very specific focus on district development and is more like a workshop.

Prusator's encouraging anyone with issues about bullying to contact him first.

"He was telling me more or less, I'd appreciate if you didn't show up. This is something that had been planned for a few months. Well, you know what when emergencies come forth, and they happen, that's when you've got to take action," said Lewis.

Lewis said he and his daughter will keep echoing their anti-bullying message to prevent an end to the pain for others, like they've experienced with Jordan's death.