On September 16th, tragedy struck when Jaylee Chillson, a 16-year-old girl from Kansas, ran away from home and attended a party with a 20-year-old male. The night took a devastating turn when, within hours, Jaylee fatally shot herself in front of a sheriff’s deputy who was desperately trying to convince her to return home to her family.
Despite the deputy’s efforts, Jaylee was pronounced dead at the scene. In a recent interview with The Messenger, published on September 23rd, Jaylee’s grieving father, Jeb Chillson, opened up about the torment his daughter had endured for several years. The relentless bullying she faced, both in-person and online, had taken a severe toll on her mental and emotional well-being, even after steps were taken to address it.
The bullying had reportedly started during Jaylee’s time as a student at Clay Center Community School. Her classmates subjected her to horrifying acts, such as encouraging her to self-harm, sending cruel messages on social media, and even pouring rubber cement in her hair while others looked on in amusement. The situation escalated to the point where one girl threatened to kill Jaylee, prompting her father, Jeb, to contact school officials for help.
Sadly, despite his pleas, nothing was done, and the bullying persisted. Jeb and his wife, Stacie Chillson, decided to withdraw Jaylee from the school and enroll her in another nearby institution. However, to their dismay, the bullying continued and even escalated to physical abuse. Jaylee would come home covered in bruises and injuries, a painful testament to the torment she endured. Jeb once again reached out to the school’s principal, receiving assurances that they would address the issue. However, as before, no meaningful action was taken, leading Jeb to believe that the school had utterly failed his daughter.
In a desperate attempt to protect Jaylee, her parents chose to homeschool her, but the bullying persisted through mean messages on Snapchat, Instagram, phone calls, and more. Tragically, Jaylee’s ordeal reached its horrifying conclusion on that fateful September night when she decided to run away from home. Jeb Chillson, along with a sheriff’s deputy, attempted to save Jaylee’s life after hearing a gunshot at the party. They performed CPR, but their efforts proved futile, and Jaylee lost her life. Her death shocked everyone, including her therapist, who had been seeing her for years.
There were no warning signs that this tragedy was imminent. Jeb Chillson highlighted that bullying was a pervasive issue in their community, describing it as a “terrible pandemic.” In the wake of this devastating incident, a GoFundMe page was created by Jeb’s sister in memory of Jaylee Chillson, as the family continues to grapple with their profound loss. The investigation into the tragedy is ongoing, with no charges filed at this time.