TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC 4 News) On the day of David Phan's funeral, the teen's family speaks out on the loss of their son and the root of what may have tormented him.
An excerpt from the family's statement reads:
"David was an adored son, beloved by his close knit parents, older brother, and large extended family. David's home life was full of support and unconditional love. His parents are devastated to have lost their young son who rarely left their side. Many of his peers and members of the community have confirmed that David was an amazing student and extraordinary friend."
The statement goes on to address the problem of bullying that deeply affect David:
"David shielded his parents from the horror he was facing and his negative experiences at Bennion Jr. High. The last few days have been an absolute living nightmare to learn that he was bullied in school where he was supposed to be in a safe learning environment. It is time for us to turn the hate David endured by bullies into a learning experience to strengthen a divided community. Let us not deny the numerous accounts that David was a victim of serious bullying at school. Allow his family and friends the ability to heal by us all taking accountability and to move towards conversations and practices that will enable us to prevent other children from enduring this unbearable pain."
The family says they plan on meeting with school administrators to set up an anti-discrimination safe zone for students and other ways to curb bullying.
An account at Wells Fargo has been set up by the family for donations to go towards anti-bullying education and outreach.