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Jonathan, symbol of the fight against school bullying, has died

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  • Reading time:6 mins read

Jonathan Destin had become the symbol of the fight against school bullying since his suicide attempt by immolation in 2011. The 27-year-old young man died on Saturday.

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JOnathan Destin, 27, died on Saturday August 20 in his sleep, in a French town near Lille, reports La Voix du Nord.

“To all those who knew Jonathan, through his story, his book, his film, in schools, who one day met him, talked to him, you who have been following us for so many years, I unfortunately have sad news to announce: Jonathan died Saturday at my house in his sleep. It is with a torn heart that I announce this to you, ”wrote his mother, Marie-Pierre, on Facebook.

On February 8, 2011, in Marquette-lez-Lille, after six years of harassment at school and college, Jonathan Destin, then aged 16, tried to end his life by setting himself on fire before throwing himself into the the Deule. He survives but is 72% burned. There followed two and a half months in a coma, twenty-three operations and a three-year hospitalization.

“Free speech is the first thing to do”

Since then, Jonathan Destin, originally from Marquette-lez-Lille, had become the symbol of the fight against school bullying. He had multiplied the interventions in schools to raise awareness among teenagers. “I regret that act every day,” he said last May to a Jeumont class. Jonathan Destin had also told his story in a book, Condemned to kill me (XO editions, 2013), which had been adapted into a TV movie in 2018 by TF1.

In October 2019, during a major campaign against school bullying that he had sponsored alongside Nicola Sirkis and La Voix du Nord, the young man had indicated that “freeing speech is the first things to do. It is the gesture that saves. Then, saying what the stalkers risk at the criminal level is also very good because children often think it’s just a game. I want things to change. Harassment, to stop it, you have to talk about it. In this same interview, Jonathan Destin said he had “still things to do on this Earth, and in particular to defend this cause”.

The city of Marquette-lez-Lille in mourning

The death of Jonathan Destin plunges the small town of Marquette-lez-Lille into sadness. “I am particularly affected by his death, his life was terrible from a very young age”, comments Dominique Legrand, mayor of Marquette-lez-Lille in reference to the school harassment of which the young man had been the victim. “I know that he suffered a lot from his burns and the many operations he had undergone,” adds the chosen one.

The police have opened an investigation to determine the exact circumstances of his death. Jonathan’s body was brought to Lille forensic medicine on Sunday for an autopsy.