Sixteen months ago, amidst a national rash of suicides by LGBT youth, residents of Harris County awoke to find that the epidemic had claimed one of our own. Asher Brown, 13, had taken his life after enduring months of taunting from his Cy-Fair classmates. Asher was small for his age, a Buddhist, didn’t dress in designer clothes and didn’t act the way his classmates felt a “boy” should. Asher converted to Christianity, thinking it would make the torture end. His parents, David and Amy Truong, spoke with teachers and administrators, vainly hoping they would intervene to stop the torment. When nothing worked, when the adults at the school failed to step up, Asher killed himself.
For a moment, the people of Cy-Fair seemed to wake up. Candlelight vigils were held and adults throughout the community swore to stop the cycle of harassment and assault that caused Asher to give up hope.
Then the moment passed. Cy-Fair, Harris County and the nation went on.
For David and Amy Truong the pain their son enduring remained, spurring them to action. The couple spoke to the media, religious leaders and elected officials asking for a change in the culture of our schools. They visited with members of the state legislature, helping to push through landmark anti-bullying legislation last year, and they have sued the Cy-Fair Independent School District, hoping to force the school district to change the way it responds to bullying, so no other child will have to experience what Asher did.
For some in Cy-Fair, it seems, the Truongs refusal to remain silent is an affront. My Fox Houston reports that the couple has faced an onslaught of harassment and vandalism as thanks for their efforts:
“‘People just driving by slowly and parking and staring at us. When they do speak to us they scream, “Bully, bully, bully!” Kids would start chanting that. Adults would just give us dirty glares. They scream by screaming, “Yee ha”!’ said David who has reported the incidents to Harris County Precinct 4 Constables.
Most recently, a hefty bag of bottles was smashed at high speed against the Troung’s [home], splattering glass throughout the yard.
‘Broken glass was everywhere on our lawn, almost to our neighbor’s lawn. We had to spend an hour picking through it by hand,’ said David.
Since their son’s death, the Troungs have endured more than a dozen separate incidents of vandalism and hateful harassment.”
Children aren’t born hating other people, they have to be taught. In Cy-Fair, it seems we now know where the children who drove Asher to suicide learned that skill.
After the jump watch the My Fox Houston report
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