WATCH: Press conference in Austin with Asher Brown’s parents

Asher Brown’s parents, David and Amy Truong, are working to make sure other children in Texas are protected from bullying.

At the Capitol building in Austin on Monday, March 7, they joined Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns and Equality Texas Executive Director Dennis Coleman to speak about bullying and then met privately with several key senators and representatives. Garnet Coleman announced that he renamed his bill Asher’s Law with the Truongs’ permission.

Asher’s bill would mandate the development of “a comprehensive suicide prevention program for implementation in public junior, middle and high schools,” provide training for teachers, counselors, nurses administrators and other staff who regularly interact with students and mandate a report to the legislature on implementation of the program.

About 350 people from around the state including a large number of straight allies lobbied legislators throughout the day.

Sorry for some of the shaky photography. I was photographing with one hand and video recording with the other.

—  David Taffet

Gay bullying die-in planned at Texas Capitol on opening day of legislative session

The 82nd Texas Legislature gets under way next Tuesday, and in this Friday’s Voice, we’ll have a full preview of what to expect — and not to expect — on the LGBT front. But for now, we thought we mention that a group called Queer Texas United is planning a die-in Tuesday evening to support anti-bullying legislation. From the Facebook event page:

Let’s get out and show our support for the victims of bullying and tell our legislature to protect students from these cowardly thugs! We will be demonstrating by laying on the steps of the capitol building, each person representing a different LGBT person who has committed suicide as a result of bullying. We must send a clear message to our representatives that state-sanctioned discrimination, bigotry, and harassment is not acceptable!

The die-in will be from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, and a planning meeting will be held at 7 p.m. this Thursday at Cheer Up Charlie’s, at 1104 E. 6th St. in Austin.

—  John Wright