Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Asher Brown’s “Death By Bullies” Sparks Investigations, Demonstration

Asher Brown, Fox News 26 photo

Houston, Texas – Pressure is mounting for a fuller investigation into the reasons for the suicide of Asher Brown. After hundreds of mourners and supporters gathered on Saturday outside Moore Elementary School to pay tribute to Asher and support his family, Harris County prosecutors are investigating to learn all they can about the role school bullying played in the 13-year-old gay boy’s suicide at his home on September 13. On October 4, CBS and AP reported the release of a new study establishing that anti-gay bullying is a major contributing factor to LGBTQ depression and suicide. According to the report of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, the mental health of LGBTQ youth is deeply impacted in many negative ways by the harassment and bullying they receive in school. “Our research makes it crystal clear that anti-LGBT bullying is a major reason that youth who don’t conform to gender rules or expectations have poorer mental health later in life,” study co-author Stephen T. Russell, a consultant with the Project, said in a press release. Asher Brown’s death has also sparked pressure on school boards and administrations to do more to make school experiences safer for children and youth. A demonstration is planned for Tuesday, October 5, outside Hamilton Middle School in Houston where Asher was a student to highlight the need for safe schools and for zero-tolerance of anti-LGBTQ discrimination and bullying because of the real or perceived sexual orientations and gender identities of teenagers. One of new initiatives calls for the passage of a law being called “Asher’s Rule” in memory of the gentle, small, and much-tormented gay youth who no longer could endure the hell he faced at school. The Facebook notice announcing the demonstration and vigil for safer schools in memory of Asher includes this appeal to the public: “Please join us to help educate the schools, the school district, the parents, the students to help make schools a safer place for kids. We all collectively hope and dream for Asher and all kids who are/were bullied…. that the world becomes a better place with what they would have hoped and dreamed it would be. We need more sensitivity and compassion… not bullying and meanness in this world. Please find ways to get kids help. We need these special kids to grow to adults.”

October 4, 2010 - Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Asian Americans, Bullying in schools, gay teens, gun violence, harassment, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, hate crimes prevention, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, Legislation, LGBT teen suicide prevention, LGBTQ suicide, Protests and Demonstrations, Social Justice Advocacy, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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