A year after the Flour Bluff Independent School District received national attention for refusing to allow students to form a Gay Straight Alliance, the district is accused of not handling bullying that led to a former student’s suicide on Sunday.
Ted Molina, 16, faced bullying since fifth grade from a group of boys who used racial epithets and threatened to fight him. Molina’s mother is Asian. The family blames the school district for not handling the bullying properly, his aunt told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
Molina played football in middle school, but quit his freshman year hoping the taunting would stop. When it continued, he withdrew from Flour Bluff High School on March 5. While he seemed to improve, he posted several grim photos of himself on Facebook hours before he killed himself in his bedroom. He did not leave a note.
From the Caller-Times:
Sophomore Ashley Stover, 16, said Ted was a good student who smiled, did his school work, got to class on time and had few absences.
Ted, whom she knew since at least middle school, never showed signs of wanting to commit suicide.
“He was just smiling and happy,” Ashley said.
In the hours before he killed himself, Ted posted three, sullen pictures of himself on Facebook that family and friends say look nothing like the happy-go-lucky boy they knew who always liked to make people laugh.
“I don’t think he was trying to hurt anyone else or cause anyone else pain,” his friend Kyle Stewart said. “He just wanted his pain to end.”
Ashley said she saw a group of students repeatedly bully Ted.
“He kind of bottled everything in,” she said.
Eighth-grader Meadow Kendig, 14, said she backed Ted up in a dispute with the same group of students about a month ago when they threatened to fight him off campus.
Meadow said she plans to wear blue on Thursday with other Flour Bluff students as a way to honor Ted.
“We loved him, and we’re going to miss him,” she said.
UPDATE: Equality Texas posted a KRIS-TV newscast that features a mother who pulled her two students out of Flour Bluff ISD because they were being bullied and the district did little to stop it.
Equality Texas Deputy Executive Director Chuck SMith commented on the story by referencing HB 1942, a bill the organization helped pass last year. It requires Texas school districts to implement polices for reporting and responding to bullying.
“These incidents of bullying and harassment cannot be swept under the rug. They cannot be ignored,” Smith wrote on the post. “The lives of Texas school children are at stake.”