Asher Brown’s worn-out tennis shoes still sit in the living room of his Cypress-area home while his student progress report – filled with straight A’s – rests on the coffee table.
The eighth-grader killed himself last week. 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.
You would think that a wave of violence against LGBT (and perceived LGBT) school kids — and an alarming body count — might prompt some sort of comment (let alone action) from the White House… even calls for immediate passage of the Federal Safe Schools act.
On a personal note, I went to school in this particular district — a very long time ago. And it appears that despite the passage of time, not much has changed… I was bullied in middle school and much of high school — being short, slight build, into the arts, etc. — to the point that when I did finally fight back, I wound up breaking the other kids arm. The school administrators, teachers and adults acted as if the bullying occuring under their noses didn’t exist — they were blissfully unaware.
I’ve carried the scars through my life — and it has spurred me to be an activist for change