Rogers ISD community says bullying led to teen suicide

Posted at 4:49 PM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 13:47:53-05

Friends and classmates of 15-year-old Devin Raynor are speaking out on the community's bullying problem after he committed suicide. 

Shelby Lawless and Raynor spent a lot of time together, "He had the biggest heart." 

Lawless said prior to his death he opened up to being bullied. "Bullying is a thing that happens everywhere. There's girls and boys who have moved out of Rogers because of bullying." Lawless said the community is so small it seems unavoidable.

Rosalie Wolff's two children attend schools in Rogers ISD and were friends of Raynor. "Devin is sweet, Devin was sweet." Wolff said it's difficult to come to terms with the fact that Devin is gone. "It just makes me  feel really bad that a couple  of people can drive a kid to such a dark place who was so bright they could drive him to such a dark place that he would do that."

Several parents came to Monday night's Rogers School Board meaning to take advantage of the open forum. While some parents said they came in support, only Wolff spoke out asking the district to put bullying on the agenda.

Rogers Superintendent, Joe Craig, could not address the parents concern directly because of board rules, but in his report he said there are already policies in place for bullying at the schools.

"We need to have a community forum where we can actually have dialogue about this. This reported bullying real or perceived." Craig said he would like to hold a discussion sometime next week. " One of the things with tragedy is it raises awareness. And when awareness is raised an educational opportunity occurs right there."

Craig said the meeting will give the opportunity for the schools to communicate what they do to handle bullying. Parents will have the opportunity to express their concerns and  talk about different situations that happen.

Wolff thinks the forum is a good start but wants to see some sort of accountability starting with staff.

"Everybody that sits in a school building needs to really look in their heart and figure out whats best for every kid," Wolff said.

Wolff believes Rogers can heal from this loss, only if they come together.

"Let's not turn this tragedy into a gossiping affair. Let's turn this tragedy into a triumph of our town our district our community  let's get behind this and solve this problem," Wolff said.

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