The heartbreaking true story of the gay teen and his dad behind ‘Joe Bell’

The heartbreaking true story of the gay teen and his dad behind ‘Joe Bell’

In April 2013, Joe Bell left his home in La Grande, a small town in the northeast corner of Oregon, to walk across the country in honor of his 15-year-old son, Jadin, who had died in February a few weeks after attempting suicide. Bell and his wife, Lola Lathrop, told local and national news outlets at the time that Jadin was bullied for being gay, both online and at school. After his son’s death in a hospital in Portland, Oregon, Bell and family friends started Faces for Change, an anti-bullying organization. He planned to walk across the country to New York City — where Jadin had talked about living — and speak to students, school administrators and others about the effects of bullying. Six months into his planned two-year journey by foot, however, Bell was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on U.S. 40, a two-lane highway in eastern Colorado. The family’s tragic story inspired “Joe Bell,” a movie debuting Friday starring Mark Wahlberg as Bell, Connie Britton as Lathrop and Reid Miller as Jadin. The true story behind the …
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