Hundreds turn out for vigil for Virginia teen who committed suicide after alleged bullying

(WAVY Photo)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A vigil was held Wednesday evening for a Woodside High School student who took her own life last weekend.

A candlelight vigil for 14-year-old Déjah Jones started at 6:16 p.m. on Wednesday, because Jones died on the 16th.

Family members told 10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox Jones took her own life last Saturday after they say the teen was repeatedly bullied at school. Jones’ family says they saw no signs of that she was being bullied at the school or online.

Jones was a volleyball player at Woodside H.S. Many players turned out at the vigil, as well as her coach and other volleyball parents.

Terrinae White, a senior, served as the varsity captain of the volleyball team. She said Jones’ death has been difficult for her, as she always tries to take J.V. players under her wing.

“I feel like there was no intervention, or anybody that she felt comfortable coming to with her problems,” says White.

White also says that Jones was always smiling when playing volleyball, even when she messed up.

“Dejah was just a burst of energy on the court,” says White.

On Monday, people at Woodside H.S. passed around fliers with the number to a bullying hotline. Douglas Brown, the school board member who represents the northern part of the school district, was at Wednesday’s vigil. He said the district is investigating what happened.

Brown also encouraged students to call the Newport News anonymous bullying hotline at (757) 591-3800. He said, teachers, staff and counselors are also specially trained to handle bullying. He also said parents can find more information on the Newport News Public Schools website by clicking here.

“I hope that the kids in the school realize the wealth of resources that they have available to them,” Brown says.

Brown said his own children also attend Woodside. Jones’ death has even become a conversation in his house over the last few days as he helps his children with their grief.

There is also a GoFundMe page collecting donations to help the family with funeral costs.

Woodside High School will hold its Spring Sports Jam on Friday, April 22 from 7 to 10 p.m. PTSA representative Phoebe Shoats-Morrison said half the proceeds will be donated to the Jones family.

Tickets are $5 at the door. The event is happening in the gym, and will involve a DJ, several sports, games and activities.

Also, Scratch Bakery will raise awareness on Thursday, April 21. The owner said 50 percent of all cupcake sales will go toward the Jones family. The bakery is located at 4181 Williams Styron Square North.

Jones’ visitation will be held at Full Gospel Kingdom Church on Friday, April 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. The church is located at 3114 Washington Avenue in Newport News. Jones’ funeral will be Saturday, April 23 at Full Gospel Kingdom Church at noon. A viewing is set to begin Saturday at 10 a.m.

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