A controversy has now been sparked over memorials for a Battle Creek middle school student’s suicide.

WWMT says that after 13-year-old Lakeview Middle Schooler Kaileb Cobb took his own life September 5, the spirit rocks at Lakeview High School, and at schools in the Battle Creek and Pennfield Districts, were painted with messages saying things like “stop bullying” and “in honor of Kaileb”.

The messages indicated a belief that his death was tied to bullying he experienced, but the Battle Creek Police Department investigated and didn't find bullying to be a factor. Cobb's father died in a car crash in July, but his mother says he didn't show signs of depression.

 

Shortly after the rock was painted, the Lakeview district painted over these messages with white paint and the yellow suicide prevention ribbon; the other schools followed suit.

Lakeview Superintendent Blake Prewitt says that the messages left on the rock were against the district policy regarding memorials for deaths by suicide; he says the policy was crafted in an effort to help the family and friends of victims grieve, without glorifying suicide.

The worry is that certain types of memorials could lead to copycat deaths.