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Friends say Boone County, WV student committed suicide because of bullying

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Grieving family and friends are trying to figure out what led a Boone County 16-year-old boy to commit suicide.

Christopher Nelson, a freshman at Sherman High School, died Monday. His friends and family are still trying to determine what caused the teenager to take his own life but his friends say he was bullied to no end.

"He was one of what we say the outcasts. He was one of us," said Billy Hapney, a freshman at Sherman High School.

Billy Hapney, Josh Perdue and Tylor Britt were all best friends with Chris. Now among these three young boys there's a sense of crushing grief and despair. And they say just like them, Chris was a victim of bullying.

"To see my child come home and cry and so many children in this area come home and cry, it's frustrating," said Michelle Hapney, Billy's mother.

"I was bullied from third grade until now," said Hapney.

"Random high schoolers will go up to you and just counting how you look or how you act or who you may hang out with," said Britt.

"Just because we're not up in your rankings and social status doesn't mean you have any right to pick on us or ridicule us in any way," said Perdue.

Parents in the community told 13 News bullying has been a problem at the school for a long time.

"This non-bullying, no tolerance policy, it's not working. You have to find a different way. This isn't going to work anymore," said Michelle Hapney.

13 News reached out to Boone County Schools' Superintendent. He said the county is investigating and working with the Boone County Sheriff's Department.

"Bullying may have went from something physical in nature to now it's turned into what you called cyber bullying. They may be a hundred miles away from someone but they can still bully them," said Chief Deputy Chad Barker of the Boone County Sheriff's Department.

The Boone County Sheriffs Department is still investigating Chris' death trying to determine if bullying caused Chris' death.

In the meantime his friends are continuing to raise awareness about bullying and all the harm it can do.