Another Texas child has been bullied to death.
Thirteen-year old Asher Brown committed suicide on September 23, 2010. 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'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. [Houston Chronicle story]
This is the same school district in which Langham Creek High School freshman Jayron Martin was repeatedly beaten with a metal pipe last November. Martin said he had asked for help from two principals and a bus driver, but it took a neighbor with a shotgun to stop the beating. [KHOU story]
There is simply no excuse for failing to protect school children. The State of Texas is obligated to provide a safe learning environment.
Under current law, students are not specifically protected from bullying and harassment based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Current law does not establish a uniform state school conduct policy and does not provide for monitoring or enforcement of independent school district policies.
This coming January, for the third legislative session, Equality Texas will be working to pass safe schools legislation. It will not pass until lawmakers know it is a top priority for their constituents. During the 81st Legislative Session, Rep. Mark Strama filed a bill relating to safe schools for all youth. While it was voted favorably out of committee, it died on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives. Will this be the session to finally pass a safe schools bill?
Ask your state representative to take the issues of bullying and harassment seriously by supporting the passage of safe schools legislation - legislation that would protect all children, including children of lesbian or gay parents and teens who are gay.
DEMAND ACTION NOW!
Equality Texas advocates and lobbies for the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
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