Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Houston Gay Teen Beaten with Metal Pipe Appealed for Help, But in Vain

Houston, TX – Jayron Martin, a 16-year-old freshman at Langham Creek High School, knew that school bullies were coming for him on Thursday, November 12, but his appeals for help to principals and to his bus driver fell on deaf ears.  Hours before the beating that left him with multiple bruises and a concussion, Martin says he was tipped off that classmates intended to ambush and beat him for being gay.  According to statements he made to KHOU-TV 11 News, Martin said that he immediately went to two school principals for help.  Instead of offering him help, they told him to write out a statement, and they would call him in after reading and considering his fears.  He wrote out a statement and took it to the principals, but no help of any kind was forthcoming, and the clock was ticking toward the impending attack.  “They didn’t do anything,” said Martin. “They never called me down [to the principal’s office] or nothing.”  No school official lifted a finger to help him or stop the approaching violence.  The principals did not even inform his mother.  Martin boarded the bus for home, knowing that the gang who promised to beat him up were riding it as well.  “All they kept saying was, ‘We going to get you. We going to fight you,’ and all that and so when they started coming after me they were like, ‘You’re not going to be gay anymore.’”  Martin said that he begged his bus driver for help, but the driver ignored the gay youth’s pleas.  The attack came off campus, when Martin got off the bus.  Nine boys got off at the same stop, and chased after Martin, who ran for his life to a neighbor’s house.  “You don’t understand, I was just running for my life and nobody was like there at all. Nobody was doing anything for me,” said Martin.  The bullies caught up to him at the neighbor’s house, and a seven-minute attack with a metal pipe commenced as Martin says he screamed for help.  As a 16-year-old thrashed him repeatedly, the eight others stood around, witnessing the beating and egging it on.  “They just kept hitting me,” he said.  Finally his neighbor heard the commotion, saw what was taking place in his yard, and came at the assailants with a shotgun.  He probably saved Martin from more serious injury or death.  The youth recalled that his neighbor shouted, “Y’all need to stop! Y’all need to stop!’ And the boy wouldn’t stop and he just kept hitting me and hitting me and so he cocked his gun and that’s when he ran out [of the yard],” Martin told KHOU reporters.  Harris County law officers arrested the 16-year-old who allegedly carried out the beating and charged him with aggravated assault.  Since Martin’s attacker is a juvenile, the records of proceedings are sealed to the public and the press.  Martin and his mother are convinced that the assault was an anti-gay hate crime.  “I’m disgusted,” his mother, Lakenya Martin, said to reporters. “I’m sorry, after the fact doesn’t do it. The school district let us down. I mean, let all of us down because it could have been anyone’s kid.”  The Cy-Fair School District has begun an investigation into the attack.  The bus driver has been suspended with pay.  Officials say they are looking into the actions of an assistant principal at Langham High.  Mrs. Martin, however, is far from satisfied.  “When the child does what they’re supposed to do and the adult doesn’t, what are you supposed to say then?  How do you make him feel comfortable? How do you give him back that sense of security,” she said.  She announced her intentions to move out of the neighborhood and the school district.  Reports suggest that she is acting to sue the school and the school district in civil court.  What makes this story all the more lamentable to us at the Unfinished Lives Project is that this entire tragedy could have been prevented if school officials had only acted responsibly and humanely.  GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian Straight Education Network, reports that a 2007 survey of 6,209 middle and high school students found that nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students (86.2%) experienced harassment at school in the past year, three-fifths (60.8%) felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and about a third (32.7%) skipped a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe.  GLSEN research also points out that school officials routinely underestimate the danger posed to LGBT students by bullying in their schools. Jayron Martin will be remembered at at rally and candlelight vigil planned for Sunday, November 22, 6:15 pm in the heart of the LGBTQ neighborhood in Dallas.

November 19, 2009 - Posted by | African Americans, Beatings and battery, Bludgeoning, Bullying in schools, gay men, harassment, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, Texas | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. This is going to be an important case as far as TX schools go. Hopefully, the mother will decide to sue and, even better, won’t settle out of court. Texas state law requires that reports like this be taken seriously. The principals involved, as well as the bus driver, failed in their duties as employees of a state educational institution.

    A 2008 report on LGBT treatment in schools:

    Comment by Carl J. Stoneham | November 20, 2009

    • im totally agree with Carl, i was on a hihg school on a small town on texas too, and i always had to deal with acts like that, i hate that, i never go back

      Comment by Dorian | November 24, 2009

  2. PS The GLSEN report I linked above adds parents to the mix and is an additional resource to the 2007 reports (as far as I am aware).

    Comment by Carl J. Stoneham | November 20, 2009

  3. […] be stopped. It did happen. There are witnesses everywhere.”  The Cy-Fair School District has a history of gay student harassment, as the Unfinished Lives Project reported in November 2009, with a violent attack against a gay […]

    Pingback by Gay Houston Boy Bullied To Death: Shoots Himself After Unbearable School Torment « Unfinished Lives | September 29, 2010

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: