Loved ones gather to remember Dejah Jones, spread the word about bullying

Posted at 10:46 PM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-22 12:59:45-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The loved ones of 14-year-old Dejah Jones gathered outside of Woodside High School on Wednesday night for a vigil in her honor.

The freshman volleyball player took her own life on Saturday.

Her family held a news conference about her death this week. They believe it was the result of bullying by a group of students at Woodside that became too much for Dejah to handle.

Her teammates told NewsChannel 3 they wish they knew about what was going on.

"It was devastating, it kind of hurt more that we weren't aware, she didn't have anybody else to go to," says Terrinae White, captain of the Woodside High School volleyball team. "I've already talked to my team and I told them this is why I want the closeness. I want a big sister relationship between these two teams and I feel like Dejah could have had that, but we should have enforced it a little bit more."

While Dejah's family and friends came together to celebrate her life, they also wanted to address the issue of bullying, and why no one should ever have to feel the way that Dejah did.

"It's horrible that she had to go through this and it just wakes people up now," says Angela Whiting, a parent to one of Dejah's friends.

Dejah's family says they want answers from the school about the bullying.

Douglas Brown, a Newport News School Board representative came to the vigil. He said the school is investigating, but he is also calling on the students and parents to step up.

"We have an entire division devoted to programs and resources for you, we can create the infrastructure, but you as individuals you need to engage with it because it only works when you use it."

Scratch Bakery will also be donating 50% of all cupcake sales to Dejah's family from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 21st.