The funeral service for a 15-year-old boy who committed suicide in a Coweta school took place Friday, while the controversy over what happened continues to swirl in the small community southeast of Tulsa.
Triston Stephens was laid to rest in Ft. Smith, where he had extended family, in a service that began at 10:00 a.m.
An angry parent called KRMG Friday morning to complain that her daughter had been targeted, and had even received death threats, because people accused her of being one of the bullies who led Triston Stephens to pull the trigger in the boy's bathroom at the intermediate high school Monday morning.
Meanwhile a former student from Coweta who says she withdrew because of bullying and bickering tells KRMG she hopes the tragic incident leads to some kind of change.
"I'm not innocent, nobody's innocent," Stephanie Newton told KRMG. "But we can't be making people feel bad enough to take their own life, that's awful. For anybody to feel that way, it is awful."
She echoes what a number of parents and students have told KRMG about a pervasive atmosphere of bullying, where some students don't feel safe, while teachers and administrators look the other way.
"When I was in school, I talked to teachers all the time. They sat the girls down, they had a what they called a 'serious talk,' and they let them go on their merry way, and that's not okay."
A national speaker on bullying and suicide prevention contacted by a family in Coweta has offered to come and conduct an assembly on bullying at the school.
Trey Wheeler of The Bullying Prevention Team says "so many people don't understand that there are people and there are resources out there that do care."
He says "they don't think that people love them, and they snap."
"I never have heard of this happening like that," he told KRMG, referring to the suicide in the school.
He says he read the story on our website, and posted a comment, which led the parent to contact him directly.
"I clicked on the story and I read it, and I felt a calling to comment on it. It's sad to see someone kill themselves in the bathroom, and it was a real calling."
Some students have told KRMG that the principal at the intermediate high school didn't want to have any assemblies on the issue, but Coweta Superintendent Jeff Holmes indicated he'd be happy to have a national speaker come to the school.