That's what this admittedly depressing site is going to try to do. Remind these people that hatred does have a price. You don't get to go around proclaiming "Protect the Children!", while contributing to their deaths.
I'm talking to you FRC*, AFA*, NOM, CWA*, ADF, FOtF and so many others.
* These groups are listed as hate groups by the SPLC.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Meet Aiden Rivera Schaeff. Aiden was 17 years old, just one month shy of his 18th birthday when he committed suicide on April 22 of 2010. Aiden was female-to-male transgendered, and had begun his transition in high-school.
Said Ava in her It 'get's better video' in his honor: "I know that there are a ton of people out there, who like Aiden, they're amazing and just beautiful, and they're loved, and they can't see it because they have to deal with so much hate every day."
Ava's 'It Gets Better' video for Aiden:
There is a permanent page set up in his memory at: http://aidenriveraschaeff.com/
His obituary is at: http://yourlifemoments.ca/sitepages/obituary.asp?oId=387072
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Meet Joshua Wilkerson, age 18. Wilkerson’s bound and burned body was found in a field in Pearland Texas on Wednesday Nov 17th after a 24 hour search.
From the story:
According to court documents, Wilkerson gave Moralez a ride home from school Tuesday and Moralez stated that Wilkerson began to make sexual advances towards him. Moralez said they got out of the truck and began to fight when Wilkerson grabbed a large wooden rod and tried to hit him. Moralez said he took the piece of wood from Wilkerson and began to hit him with it. He said Wilkerson was not moving afterwards.
The police report provides more detailed information. It's a pdf encoded image so I cannot cut and paste portions of it, but basically:
Moralez got into a fight with Wilkerson on the patio of Moralez' fathers home after being given a ride home from school by Wilkerson. According to Moralez, Wilkerson made a pass at him.
During this fight, Wilkerson was beaten with a wooden pole. Police have recovered the pole.
Afterwards, Moralez bound the hands and feet of Wilkerson, and took him to a field in Wilkerson's pickup truck. There he set fire to the body. He then discarded Wilkerson's backpack and shoes in a dumpster, and abandoned Wilkerson's pickup truck near a bar in Pearland.
When police found Moralez walking along a road, he was arrested and eventually told the story, as well as leading police to the body. The body was partially burned, with the feet and hands bound.
According to Wilkerson's mother, the two had been friends and had known each other for about 5 years. Wilkerson had frequently provided a ride home for Moralez.
More information becoming available:
Monday, November 8, 2010
Meet Brandon Bitner, age 14. Brandon killed himself on Friday, November 5th by jumping in front of a tractor-trailer, after leaving a suicide note, and walking nearly 13 miles from his home.
From the story:
There seems to be little doubt in the students’ minds why Bitner did what he did.
“It was because of bullying,” friend Takara Jo Folk wrote in a letter to The Daily Item.
“It was not about race, or gender, but they bullied him for his sexual preferences and the way he dressed. Which,” she said, “they wrongly accused him of.”
His death came just days after an anti-bullying assembly at the high school, which, according to district Superintendent Wesley Knapp, was not held in response to any specific problems at the school, but because it is an issue Principal Cynthia Hutchinson has always felt strongly about.
After the assembly, according to student Briana Boyer in another letter to The Daily Item, “No one took it seriously, and joked around about it.”
Former Midd-West student Erin Barnett sent a letter as well, blaming the school, saying that when students report bullying, “Nothing is done.”
“Bullying should be addressed in every school, and should have a punishment,” Barnett said.
“I do not appreciate … kids bullying others for their own gratification,” Folk wrote. “Because of bullying, one of my closest friends took his own life.”
“I am writing this (because) Midd-West School District has bullies, and kids who are bullied are not okay.”
Other high school students on Friday described Bitner as extremely gifted.
“He was very talented,” said sophomore Alley Sharp, of Middleburg, as she remembered an “Evanascence” song he played on his violin at a middle school talent show, wowing the crowd.
Here is a link to a Memorial facebook page set up for him: http://www.facebook.com/pages/RIP-Brandon-Bitner/163850276981688?v=wall&_fb_noscript=1
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
He had just recently come out as gay.
From the story:
Jackson's family said he recently revealed to them that he was a homosexual, and that they believe he was bullied over his sexual orientation. They think the bullying led him to commit suicide.
"I believe (it happened) because he recently realized he was a homosexual and he was getting pressured at school by his peers because he told his family and nothing changed here," said grandmother Carolyn Evans. "Corey was the most loving, giving, funny person. He had the most wonderful personality. He had cousins from ages 14 down to 2 and he never said a bad word about anybody. When he went to school and he realized his sexual preference had changed, he changed completely. He withdrew.
"Evans said her grandson had always been outgoing and loving before suddenly becoming self-conscious about himself.
Jackson's Aunt, Kim Jones, said Corey revealed to her he was having a difficult time.
"He said 'I don't know what's wrong. Ever since I came out people are treating me different. I don't know what to do. I don't know where I belong," Jones said.
Friends and family of Jackson gathered Tuesday at Van Wagoner Hall to comfort each other. At 10 p.m. Wednesday night they will gather again to celebrate his life at the bridge that crosses Bear Lake.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Meet Chloe Lacey (born Justin Lacey). Days before her 19th birthday, Chloe shot and killed herself while away at school on Sept. 24.
From the story:
Chloe Lacey was born Justin Lacey and seemed to her parents to be "all boy" until, at age 16, she announced to her family that she was transgendered. Though it was not evident to those around her, Chloe explained that even in kindergarten she had identified as a girl, the article said.
Chloe kept her identity a closely held secret while attending Buchanan High School, the article said. "Justin did not allow ’Chloe’ to come out at Buchanan at all," said Chloe’s mother, Allison Murphy, who described her child’s "feeling like you don’t... can’t talk about it to anybody because nobody will understand."
The article said that Chloe was not bullied, but that she suffered depression and anxiety because of pressure to "fit in" according to preexisting social expectations. Chloe sought treatment from mental health professionals, but refused the drugs that her therapists recommended.
After high school, Chloe found a measure of acceptance and happiness, her stepfather, Sean Dempsey, told the media. "There was friendship, there was peace, there some happiness, and she loved that."
But Chloe began to despair that she would never fully realize her own identity, feeling "like there is no way this is ever going to happen for me, so why am I here," Murphy said.
And the difference in perspective was remarkable when "Chloe" was able to express herself more freely.
Dempsey [her stepfather] says, "There was friendship, there was peace, there some happiness, and she loved that."
Justin slowly began to dress as "Chloe" while living in Eureka but lacked the confidence to do so outside the safety of home.
Murphy [her mother] says the process to fully transform into "Chloe", which could take 10 years or more, began to take its toll which became "really overwhelming" with regard to the already prevalent anxiety and depression.
So, Murphy proceeded to set up therapy sessions for "Chloe" but despite seeing several therapists, her outlook grew more grim.
Murphy says she was completely hopeless "...like there is no way this is ever going to happen for me, so why am I here."
Their greatest fear was realized on September 24, 2010, when Justin "Chloe" committed suicide.
A memorial fund has been set up in Justin "Chloe" Lacey's name.
Donations can be made by sending them to The Justin "Chloe" Lacey Memorial Fund, c/o EEOC, PO Box 5242, Fresno, CA, 93655.
Contributions will be funneled into a non-profit organization that Murphy and Dempsey plan to launch in Justin "Chloe's" memory to encourage awareness and acceptance of the transgender community, especially the youth.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Meet Aiyisha Hassan. On Tuesday, October 5th, 2010, Aiyisha, age 19, committed suicide at her home in California.
Aiyisha, attended Howard University from 2008 to the spring of 2010.
From the story:
Amari Ice, 22, president of C.A.S.C.A.D.E., the Coalition of Activist Students Celebrating the Acceptance of Diversity and Equality, Howard University's LGBT student group, said Hassan was a lesbian who attended C.A.S.C.A.D.E. meetings regularly.
''It's devastating to say the least,'' Ice told Metro Weekly on Saturday, Oct. 9.
''It's been a lot to deal with especially with all the other youth suicides that have been happening. It's just fuel to the fire. It brought the national issue very very close to home.''
Details regarding Hassan's suicide have yet to be determined.
Lauren Morris, 21, a senior at Howard, who lived in the same building as Hassan from 2008-2009, said she introduced Hassan to C.A.S.C.A.D.E.. Morris added that friends have reported Hassan's suicide was related to her struggles with her sexuality.
''She was having a lot of trouble with a lot of different things,'' Morris says, ''but mainly her sexual identity and just trying to express that.''
''I absolutely think that this is connected in a way to the failure of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' to be repealed,'' Sterling, who is gay and an a 2004 Howard alumni said, speaking to Metro Weekly on Friday.
''What happens in a large group trickles down to the junior members… so in this case it's members of society so it affects youth in general,'' he said. ''Those straight-identified youth who already had a proclivity, who already had from their parents, their socialization, this idea that gays are less than, it sort of gives them permission and facilities this whole bullying thing so that those that are most vulnerable to it sometimes see suicide as an out.''
According to Howard students, a memorial is currently being planned for Wednesday, Oct. 13. For updates to this story, visit MetroWeekly.com.
From the story:
Support for and opposition to the proclamation were fairly even and the public comment portion of the agenda item lasted for three hours — the entire time allotted.
The entire process was an exercise in representative government, with both sides — and those in between — given their chance to speak their minds.
One man said he moved to Norman because he thought it was the kind of place that would never accept the GLBT community with open arms. A woman, who described herself as “bi-racial,” said she was tired of the GLBT plight being compared to Civil Rights.
Some of those who opposed the proclamation claimed that members of the GLBT community would use it to infiltrate the public school system, essentially allowing the “gay lifestyle” to become a part of the curriculum.
Others claimed that council recognizing October as GLBT History Month was a waste of their time. Some members of the audience even suggested that any council members voting in favor of the proclamation may have trouble getting reelected.
Numerous residents also claimed the Bible was their guiding light, citing the ancient text as their primary reason for opposing the proclamation and the GLBT community in general.
And for those in attendance, it was hard to ignore the intolerant grumblings, the exasperated sighs and cold, hard stares that followed comments from supporters of the GLBT proclamation.
Nikki Harrington, Zach’s older sister, said her brother likely took all of the negative things said about members of the GLBT community straight to heart.
“When he was sitting there, I’m sure he was internalizing everything and analyzing everything … that’s the kind of person he was,” she said. “I’m sure he took it personally. Everything that was said.”
Zach Harrington, who graduated from Norman North High School in 2009, had been struggling with acceptance for years. Despite being a talented musician “who could play any instrument he picked up,” Van Harrington said his son asked to leave school early during his senior year and finish his diploma in a separate program.
“He feared for his safety on many occasions at (Norman North), and other people like him,” Van said. “Even though he was 6-4, he was passive and I’m sure being gay in that environment didn’t help.”
Nikki Harrington, who is eight years older than her brother and also attended Norman North, said she recalls the way members of the GLBT community were treated during her time there.
“There was one gay guy in my high school at the time, and he was made fun of all the time,” she said. “It was a pretty much non-stop thing at school.”
From the Dallas Voice:
The father of Zack Harrington, the gay teen who took his own life after listening to homophobic comments at a Norman, Okla. city council meeting last year, says his family plans to plan a tree in his memory at a city park.
Zack Harrington’s death served as the inspiration for gay Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns’ “It Gets Better” speech.
Zack’s father, Van Harrington, said the family plans to plant the Oklahoma White Bud on April 29, which would have been Zack’s 20th birthday.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Meet Cody J. Barker. Cody, 17 years old, took his life on September 13, 2010. He was openly gay.
From the story:
Cody attended Shiocton High School, where he was active in choir. He recently attended a seminar aimed at helping him establish a gay/straight alliance at his school. Cody also enjoyed bicycling and gardening, and was a Lady Gaga fan.
Maria Peeples, Barker’s peer mentor through GSA for Safe Schools, said he was a passionate activist for all students, especially those, “targeted or ostracized for their sexual orientation or their gender identity and expression. … He really cared about making schools a safe place for students. That wasn’t always his own experience with school.”
There is an online Memorial at: http://www.clinehansondahlkefuneralhomes.com/sitemaker/memsol.cgi?user_id=250057&page=VIEW_GUESTBOOK
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Meet Raymond Chase, age 19. On Wednesday Sept 29th, 2010, Raymond hung himself in his dorm room. Raymond, who was openly gay, was a Culinary Arts Major at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Information on this story is sparse, though I will update this entry as more information becomes available.
Ronald Martel, Ph.D., Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, sent the following email to students on Thursday.
Today I contact you with the deeply sad news of the passing of Raymond Chase, sophomore, 19, culinary arts major. The campus community is mourning the loss of this vibrant young man who leaves many JWU friends and teachers, and a loving family of Monticello, New York.Funeral arrangements are not available at this time. As we obtain more information that can be shared, we will do so. Ray's JWU friends and the university are planning a memorial service for the campus community. Those details will be forthcoming.In the meantime, I encourage anyone who is having a difficult time to seek the services available at Student Counseling. Our staff of professionals is here to work with all of you during this sorrowful time. Their help and confidentiality is a benefit that you should consider.Student Counseling services are available at the The Friedman Center, 2nd floor, Harborside Campus and at Wales (formerly Plantations) Hall, 2nd Floor, Downcity Campus. Call 401-598-1016 to reach both locations.By expressing the university community's condolences to Ray's family, I join you during this time of bereavement.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Meet Seth Walsh. On September 19, 2010 Seth, who was 13 years old, hung himself from a tree in his backyard. Seth did not die immediately and was discovered and taken to a hospital where he was placed on life support in critical care.
Seth died 9 days later (Tuesday Sept 28th, 2010).
From the story:
Seth Walsh was an ordinary everyday kid who just wanted to live his life except there were cruel kids around him who won't let him. Why you ask? Walsh was a young gay kid and there were kids that would not stop tormenting him while school officials ignored the problem despite being aware of the bullying.
During the investigation many students acknowledged that Seth Walsh was in distress due to bullying over a long period of time because Walsh was gay. In spite of an anti-bullying program mentioned by school, the school officials didn't interfere to stop the bullying and mental torture of Seth Walsh.
It's ironic that the principal of the Jacobsen Middle School, Susan Ortega, proudly claims that she has a B.A. in Child and Family Crisis. Apparently Seth Walsh was a crisis Ortega did not see.
From a Time Magazine report on his memorial:
Eleven-year-old Shawn Walsh paid a poignant tribute to the brother, just two years older, that he had lost. Gripping a microphone as he stood at the altar of the First Baptist Church in Tehachapi, California, Shawn joshed that his brother could be "a pain in the butt" at times but that Seth was "the best big brother in the world, no, the galaxy." Wearing a yellow plaid shirt, Seth's favorite color, Shawn then, without mentioning the word, made a heartbreaking reference to bullying, the specter at the heart of his family's mourning for his openly gay brother. "I always wanted to protect him," said Shawn, as sobs broke out in the church. "I just wish people could have been nice to him like my Mom taught me."
People were not always nice to 13-year-old Seth Walsh. Neither his valiant younger brother Shawn, nor his family could protect him from what they insist was chronic teasing. Even before Seth came out as a gay, family and friends claim that he was perpetually picked on for his mannerisms and his style of dressing. The bullying turned Seth Walsh to suicide, one of the spate of such deaths across the country in the last two weeks.
On Sept. 19, his single mother Wendy found him unconscious after he tried to hang himself from a tree in his backyard, after another apparent bullying incident. He lingered on life support for more than a week; his death has since shattered emotions in this rural community 120 miles north of Los Angeles.
But even before he came out, he was teased enough that his grandparents say he was home-schooled on two separate occasions. His best friend, Jamie Phillips says that Seth, who told friends he was gay last year, was harassed long before "since it was a rumor that went around, everyone thought he was gay." "He started getting teased by the fourth and fifth grade," says Judy Walsh. "By sixth grade, the kids were starting to get mean. By the seventh grade he was afraid to walk home from school because he was afraid he would get harassed. As he was walking by a classroom a kid yelled out 'Queer.' Stuff like that."...
The bullying took every form. "It was eye to eye, over the telephone, personal, over the internet," says Judy. "He spent a lot of his life frightened." Seth's grandparents say the breaking point came after what they believe was a bullying incident in a local park on Sept. 19. After the incident, at home, Seth appeared to be acting normally. He then showered, and asked to borrow a pen from his mother to write. Then he said he was going to play with the dogs in the back yard. His horrified mother found him later at the tree and fought to save her child even though she suspected it was a futile. "Wendy told me, when she put him on the ground, she knew his soul was gone," says Jim. The medical response teams did their best to revive him, heli-porting Seth to the county's trauma center where he remained on life support before dying Sept. 27.
Wendy Walsh, Seth's mother, made a video in conjunction with the ACLU in which she talks about Seth, and reads his suicide letter. It's pretty painful to watch.
LOS ANGELES – The Seth Walsh Students’ Rights Project — a major new initiative aimed at eliminating bullying and discrimination in California schools -- has been launched by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
The project particularly looks at harassment directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students.
The creation of the Seth Walsh project was prompted by the September 2010 suicide of Seth Walsh, 13, an eight-grader at Tehachapi’s Jacobsen Middle School. Since coming out as gay in the sixth grade, Seth was subjected to severe verbal harassment based on his sexual orientation and refusal to conform to traditional gender stereotypes.
From the LA Times:
Federal officials announced Friday a settlement had been reached with a central California school district where a 13-year-old gay student committed suicide after being subjected to persistent harassment from his classmates.UPDATE 7/6/2011:
Seth Walsh, a middle school student in the Tehachapi Unified School District, was said to be the victim of merciless harassment from classmates because most of his friends were girls and he had dressed and acted in an effeminate way, investigators found.
After more than two years of being picked on, he hanged himself from a tree in his backyard in September 2010, ultimately prompting a federal investigation led by the U.S. departments of Education and Justice.
Just days after federal officials found the Tehachapi Unified School District failed to investigate or respond appropriately to the bullying of a gay, 13-year-old middle school student who later hanged himself, his mother filed a wrongful-death lawsuit.
In fact, the findings of the investigation released Friday are the foundation for Wendy Walsh's suit. The suit states that ongoing harassment of her son Seth was common knowledge by school staff, they did little to stop it, and because of the negligence, Seth hanged himself.
Walsh, in a suit filed Tuesday, is seeking compensation for wrongful-death damages, medical expenses and punitive damages.
Meet Tyler Clementi. Tyler was an 18 year old student attending Rutgers University when he committed suicide by jumping off of the George Washington Bridge on September 23, 2010.
The freshman posted a goodbye message on his Facebook page before jumping to his death after his roommate secretly filmed him during a "sexual encounter" in his dorm room and posted it live on the Internet.
From the ABC Story:
Clementi's post on his Facebook page, dated Sept. 22 at 8:42 p.m. read, "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry."
Clementi's body has not been recovered.
Two students, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, have been charged with two counts each of invasion of privacy after allegedly placing a camera in Clementi's room and livestreaming the recording online on Sept. 19, according to a written statement by New Jersey's Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan.
A Twitter page that appears to have been operated by Ravi but has since been taken offline shows messages in which the accused student takes credit for the alleged videotaping of Clementi.
On Sept. 19, Ravi appears to tweet, "Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay."
More information from the Comcast story:
Ed Schmiedecke, the recently retired music director at Ridgewood High, called Clementi "a terrific musician and a very promising, hardworking young man."
"Musically, Tyler was destined for greatness," childhood friend Mary Alcaro, who played in a summer music academy with him, said in an e-mail. "I've never heard anyone make a violin sing the way he did."
Here is a Youtube video of one of his performances:
His body was recovered from the river Wednesday Sept 29 and positively identified today.
In conjunction with Tyler's parents, The Point Foundation has created a scholarship in his name.
From The Advocate article:
“The Tyler Clementi Point Scholarship was created with the cooperation of Clementi’s parents, Joe and Jane, to honor his memory and further the efforts to end the bullying that many LGBT youth face within educational environments. The organization has set aside funds for the scholarship, while allowing the public and current Point supporters to donate in Clementi’s name online at www.pointfoundation.org or by calling 866-33-POINT (76468).”
Clementi’s parents made remarks in the Point Foundation news release.
"Our son Tyler was a kind and gentle young man who enjoyed helping people,” said Joe and Jane Clementi. “This scholarship will help college students and it will raise awareness of young people who are subject to abuse through malicious bullying — and so it will help people in Tyler's memory. We are happy to be supportive of Point Foundation and we thank them for establishing this scholarship.”
From Time Newsfeed:
A Grand Jury in Middlesex County, New Jersey, handed down a 15-count indictment on Wednesday charging former Rutgers University freshman, Dharun Ravi, with bias intimidation and other charges connected to his roommate Tyler Clementi's suicide.
Ravi and an alleged accomplice, Molly Wei, were accused of secretly filming Clementi during a same-sex encounter in his dorm room and live streaming the video online. The next day, on September 22, apparently distraught over the streaming of the video, 18-year-old Clementi, a talented violinist from New Jersey, committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River.
The bias intimidation charge suggests, as prosecutors alleged, Ravi targeted Clementi specifically because he was gay.
... the parents of Tyler Clementi are breaking their silence to discuss his death and the creation of a foundation in his name.
“It just seems the time has come to address this problem,” Joseph Clementi told ABC News. “We want to help people. We love Tyler very much and we want to help as many people as possible. We were devastated by the loss of our son, and we still are.”
Tyler’s mother, Jane, added, “Something good has to come out from such a terrible tragedy.”
James Clementi, Tyler's brother, has written "Letters to my Brother", published by Out Magazine, relating pictures and memories of Tyler. Read it. (I think there's something in my eye.)
Dharun Ravi was convicted on most of the 15 counts against him, including bias intimidation, witness tampering, and destroying evidence. Sentencing will be on May 21st.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Meet Asher Brown. Asher was 13 when he shot himself with his fathers gun in his home on September 27th, 2010.
From the story:
He shot himself in the head after enduring what his mother and stepfather say was constant harassment from four other students at Hamilton Middle School in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.Brown, his family said, was "bullied to death" — picked on for his small size, his religion and because he did not wear designer clothes and shoes. Kids also accused him of being gay, some of them performing mock gay acts on him in his physical education class, his mother and stepfather said.The 13-year-old's parents said they had complained about the bullying to Hamilton Middle School officials during the past 18 months, but claimed their concerns fell on deaf ears.David and Amy Truong said they made several visits to the school to complain about the harassment, and Amy Truong said she made numerous phone calls to the school that were never returned....On the morning of his death, the teen told his stepfather he was gay, but Truong said he was fine with the disclosure. "We didn't condemn," he said.His parents said Brown had been called names and endured harassment from other students since he joined Cy-Fair ISD two years ago. As a result, he stuck with a small group of friends who suffered similar harassment from other students, his parents said.His most recent humiliation occurred the day before his suicide, when another student tripped Brown as he walked down a flight of stairs at the school, his parents said.When Brown hit the stairway landing and went to retrieve his book bag, the other student kicked his books everywhere and kicked Brown down the remaining flight of stairs, the Truongs said.Durham said that incident was investigated, but turned up no witnesses or video footage to corroborate the couple's claims.
Read the story here.
Another interesting analysis on this and on other teen suicides can be read here.
The mother of a Texas teenager who committed suicide last year filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday, arguing the school he attended did nothing after receiving complaints he was being bullied.
Asher Brown, 13, an eighth-grader at Hamilton Middle School, shot himself to death at home last fall.
Amy Truong, Asher's mother, also names Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in the lawsuit. She argues the middle school staff witnessed some incidents of bullying, physical assaults and name-calling against her son. Despite a policy on bullying and harassment, the suit states, district personnel "had an actual practice and custom of looking the other way."
Last year, Truong and the boy's stepfather told CNN's Anderson Cooper that Asher was bullied because he was small, did not wear fashionable clothing and was a Buddhist. They also said Asher told them he was gay and had received taunts about his sexuality.
The school district had no immediate reaction Tuesday. According to the lawsuit, it has stated there was no evidence of any bullying or complaints filed on behalf of Asher. But the lawsuit says his stepfather, David Truong, went to the school district to talk about Asher being bullied.
The Truongs said they are lobbying the Texas Legislature for anti-bullying reform legislation, according to CNN affiliate KPRC.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages and asks that the school adopt a policy known as "Asher's Rule" in which students can confidentially report bullying and harassment.
Meet Billy Lucas. Billy was 15 years old and attended Greensburg High School in Indiana, when he hung himself in his family's barn Thursday, Sept 2, 2010.
From the article:
"He was a teenager who didn't quite fit in. His classmates said Billy Lucas was bullied for being different.Read the story here. A memorial facebook page can be found here.
The 15-year-old never told anyone he was gay but students at Greensburg High School thought he was and so they picked on him.
"People would call him 'fag' and stuff like that, just make fun of him because he's different basically," said student Dillen Swango"
Meet Justin Aaberg. Justin was 15 years old when he hung himself in his bedroom last July.
From the CBS story (since removed):
"Behind that big smile and lots of friends was a shy, loyal 15-year-old boy who loved to play the cello. Justin Aaberg came out as gay when he was 13 and, as his mom found out only after he hanged himself, suffered tremendously inside.
In the weeks since she found her son dead in his room on July 9, Tammy Aaberg has heard from many of her son's friends at Anoka High School. They told her Justin Aaberg had been bullied and had recently broken up with his boyfriend.
Those same students also opened up about their own experiences, telling her they feel harassed and unsafe as gay and lesbian students.
"These kids, they just hate themselves. They literally feel like they want to die. So many kids are telling me this," said Tammy Aaberg, fighting tears."
A gay former student and the mother of a teen who committed suicide last year will deliver on Monday more than 12,000 online signatures to the Anoka-Hennepin School Board to protest the school district's sexual orientation curriculum policy.
The policy states that sexual orientation topics aren't part of the curriculum, and it instructs teachers to remain neutral if the subject comes up in class....
But gay rights advocates, along with parents of students who have been bullied, say the policy more resembles a gag order for teachers and staff. They argue the policy contributes to a hostile atmosphere for gay students because it prevents teachers from validating students' identity and doesn't allow teachers to fully support gay students who are bullied.
Tammy Aaberg, whose gay 15-year-old son Justin committed suicide last year, and Justin Anderson, a 2010 Blaine High School graduate, will deliver a printout of all the signatures.
http://wcco.com/health/glbt.teen.suicide.2.1910636.html [not longer present]
Meet Roy A. Jones. A 17 month old toddler who was beaten to death on August 2, 2010 by his mother's boyfriend for "acting too girly".
Pedro Jones of Southampton (not the boy's biological father), was arrested on charges of first degree manslaughter in Southampton Town Justice Court in connection with the toddler’s death. The boy was killed, according to police, by Pedro Jones “striking him several times throughout his body with his closed fists and grabbing him by the neck.”
According to Pedro Jones in a police interview, he was “trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl.”
Pedro Jones further stated in the document that the incident was an accident, and that, “I never struck that kid that hard before.”
See this link for further details.
Meet Carl Joseph Walker. Carl was 11 years old when he hung himself by an extension cord in the second floor of his family's home on April 9th, 2009, after being tormented by school bullies who repeatedly called him "gay".
His mother, who had just returned from a church service for her son, said Carl was a Boy Scout who played football and basketball. Walker found her son’s body when she went upstairs to check on him on Monday.
Said his mother: "I just want to help some other child. I know there are other kids being picked on, and it's day in and day out,"
See http://www.thebostonchannel.com/r/19137836/detail.html for more details.
Meet Eric Mohat, age 17. Eric, a "quiet but likable boy, who was involved in theater and music" was called "gay," "fag," "queer" and "homo" and often in front of his teachers, who did nothing. Then one bully in school said publicly in class, "Why don't you go home and shoot yourself, no one will miss you".
On March 29, 2007, he took a legally registered gun from his father's bureau drawer, locked himself in his room and shot himself in the head.
The bullying "accumulated over time," Ken Myers, the family's attorney, told ABCNews.com. "In math class, two or three picked on him constantly and mercilessly. Most of it was verbal, but they did some things like sitting behind him and flicking him in the ear, sticking stuff in his hoodie and putting eraser shavings on his head. Out of class they would shove him in lockers."See http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/story?id=7228335&page=1 for more details.
Meet Jaheem Herrera, an 11 year old 5th grader at Dunaire Elementary School in DeKalb County, Georgia. On April 16th 2009, Jaheen hung himself with a belt in his closet.
From the story: "He came home much happier than when he left in the morning, smiling as he handed his mother, Masika Bermudez, a glowing report card full of A's and B's."
"He used to say Mom they keep telling me this ... this gay word, this gay, gay, gay. I'm tired of hearing it, they're telling me the same thing over and over," she told CNN, as she wiped away tears from her face.
"He was a nice little boy," Bermudez said through her tears. "He loved to dance. He loved to have fun. He loved to make friends. And all he made [at school] were enemies."
See the sad story here: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/23/bullying.suicide/
Meet Ronnie Parris. Ronnie was 3 years old when he died on January 28 2005, of severe brain injuries inflicted by his father, Ronnie Parris Jr.
Apparently his father, concerned that Ronnie "might become gay", slap boxed with his son to "toughen him up, so he wouldn't become a sissy".
The toddler's mother, Nysheerah Paris, testified that her husband thought the boy might be gay, and would force him into a box.
In 2002, the Florida Department of Children & Families placed little Ronnie in protective custody after he had been admitted to the hospital several times for vomiting.
He was returned to his parents Dec. 14, five days after his third birthday. He had been with them six weeks when he died.
See http://tallonzektimes.org/bb/index.php?topic=5479.0;wap2 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronnie_Paris for the details.