The untimely death of a grieving father who was hit and killed by a large platform as he walked across the country to raise awareness of the effects of bullying following the suicide of his gay son is the subject of the news. Mark Wahlberg film, Joe Bell.
Based on the true story of Joe and his 15-year-old son Jadin Bell, the biographical drama was directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and written by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, who also adapted the screenplay for Brokeback Mountain.
Wahlberg, 50, plays the Oregon worker father who was killed at the age of 48 when he was hit by a semi-truck in Colorado as he walked along the shoulder of ‘a highway in October 2013.
Joe Bell, 48, of Oregon, was hit and killed by a semi-truck in October 2013 as he walked across the country to raise awareness of the effects of bullying in honor of his late son
Joe’s death came just months after his 15-year-old son Jadin Bell hanged himself from playground equipment in January 2013. The teenager suffered brain damage and was removed from the life support system.
Joe’s heartbreaking death came as he paid tribute to his late son, who died almost nine months earlier.
Jadin was 15 when he first told his parents he was tormented by homophobic bullies. Joe and his wife, Lola Lathrop, tried to help her and gave her advice, but it was not enough.
On January 19, 2013, the teenager hanged himself on Playground equipment at Central Elementary School in La Grande, Oregon. He had already suffered brain damage when a passerby found him.
He was rushed to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland and put on life support, but while he was monitored for the next two days, doctors saw low brain activity.
His family eventually decided to take the life support away from him and he died on February 3, 2013.
Mark Wahlberg (pictured) plays the father of the working class in the upcoming Joe Bell movie, which hits the US on July 23
Hundreds of students gathered to honor him as he lay in hospital, and he is remembered as a boy who “had a gift” in making people smile.
The teenager was a cheerleader in her high school and a frequent visitor to an assisted living facility.
It emerged that Jadin had been the victim of relentless bullying because of his sexuality at school and on social media.
Joe, who had another son and daughter, stayed in bed for a week after Jadin died. While struggling to come to terms with the tragedy, he decided to spend two years traveling across the Americas campaigning against bullying.
He said Oregon Public Broadcasting in the days when he found himself with a feeling of emptiness but needed to get through it so that he could be there for Jadin’s siblings.
“So I decided that I had to cross the United States on foot,” he said.
Joe resigned his position at Boise Cascade to start Faces for Change, an anti-harassment foundation he created in memory of his son
Jadin, who was openly gay, had been subjected to relentless bullying for his sexuality in school and on social media before his death.
While struggling to come to terms with the tragedy, he also decided to spend two years traveling across the continental United States to campaign against bullying.
The father resigned his position at Boise Cascade to start Faces for Change, an anti-harassment foundation he created in memory of his son. He began his walk in Oregon in April 2013, walking up to 40 kilometers per day as part of his work with the foundation.
“We have to stop this bullying – it starts in our households, the way we raise our children,” Joe told HuffPost Live at the time. “We need to educate our school systems on how to handle this; they don’t know how to fix it.
At one point on his journey, Joe confided in a group of young people about when Jadin first told him he was gay, the Denver Post reported.
“My son didn’t choose to be gay. My son was different at a very young age, ”he said. “He told his family he was gay because he knew they would accept him. I hugged him and kissed him on the cheek every day. I was proud of him.
About 1,000 miles in his 5,000 mile journey, Joe was struck on a Colorado highway by truck driver Kenneth Raven.
Raven was cited for reckless driving resulting in death, and police believed he may have fallen asleep while driving, the News from gay stars reported.
Joe began his walk in Oregon in April 2013, walking up to 40 km per day as part of his work with the foundation.
About 1,000 miles into his 5,000 mile hike, Joe was hit by a truck while walking through Colorado. Truck driver Kenneth Raven has been cited for reckless driving resulting in death
On the Joe’s Walk for Change On the Facebook page, a post announced Joe’s death and paid tribute to the father who spoke in schools and clubs across the United States about homophobic bullying.
He was scheduled to speak to a group of young people in Hugo, Colorado the night he was killed. Hours before his death, Joe posted a photo of a road sign on Facebook with the caption: “Moving forward, one step at a time. ”
The organizer of the Facebook page then shared the news of his tragic death, saying, “I am very sad to have to report that our friend Joe Bell was punched and half-kicked on his walk last night. “
“He will continue his journey now with Jadin,” added the spokesperson, named only Ann.
Two years later, it was announced that a father-son drama based on the Joe and Jodin story was being adapted by screenwriters McMurty and Ossana.
Joe Bell premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2020, and the film will be released in the United States on July 23.