Teen Student Kills Self After Years Of Gay Taunts

Asherbrown David and Amy Truong are looking for justice after their 13-year old son, Asher Brown, committed suicide last Thursday after being relentlessly bullied at his Houston-area school.

In addition to taking on his religion and fashion sense, Brown's peers took to - you guessed it - calling him "gay." Things became so bad that Asher shot himself to death.

The Truongs say they called the school to tell officials about the bullying. The school, for its part, insists no such calls every happened, but the distraught parents aren't giving up.

"I did not hallucinate phone calls to counselors and assistant principals. We have no reason to make this up. It's like they're calling us liars," said Mrs. Truong, while her husband insisted, "We want justice. The people here need to be held responsible and to be stopped. It did happen. There are witnesses everywhere."

Now, Asher's parents hope to use his death as a lesson: "Our son is just the extreme case of what happens when (someone is) just relentless," insisted Mrs. Truong, before turning her attention to the bullies, "I hope you're happy with what you've done. I hope you got what you wanted and you're just real satisfied with yourself."

And I hope the accused are apprehended and, yes, brought to justice: the tide of bullying needs to stop, period, and perpetrators need to know that their words can indeed break bones, and lives.

On a related note, this Thursday, the National Education Association will hold a talk called "Addressing the School Environment and LGBT Safety through Policy and Legislation." Hopefully they'll come to some definitive conclusion on how to stem bullying, and perhaps Dan Savage can help, because this rubbish needs to stop - period.

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  1. This is so very tragic. I think we should coin a new word for the heinous actions and call this BULLICIDE, not suicide.

    Posted by: Bruce in Tampa | Sep 28, 2010 7:48:05 AM

  2. Hey Maggie, Ann, Pete, Christopher, Tony and all you other loathsome scumbags, this is your legacy. Among your many other evils, you are actually causing the deaths of children. Yep, you are killing innocent children. So much for your bullshit “family values”...

    Rest in Peace, Asher. I wish things had been better for you.

    Posted by: ichabod | Sep 28, 2010 7:50:59 AM

  3. I hope David and Amy Truong sue the holy f*ck out of the school district; I hope they personally sue whatever counselors and principals they can, too. School faculty could not find compassion for Asher, well, maybe now they can find their checkbooks.

    Posted by: Grant | Sep 28, 2010 7:56:59 AM

  4. Agree with Grant 100%.. they should be held accountable as accessories to this constant psychological torture this poor kid endured.

    I will light a candle for you tonight Asher.

    Posted by: Darren | Sep 28, 2010 8:23:28 AM

  5. Ummmm.... where did this troubled boy find a gun???

    Posted by: stephen | Sep 28, 2010 8:26:36 AM

  6. TRAGIC, prayers for Asher.

    Two words for ALL parents and families with a bullied kid, and frankly anyone who experiences harrassment: "REGISTERED LETTER". Do not call the school. Send a letter by Registered mail as you would a legal document, formally written with the facts and that you expect a full a d speedy resolution, and keep the receipt.

    I did it to our landlord after harrassment by a neighbor and it stopped. There's no he said, she said, a Registered letter is evidence.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Sep 28, 2010 8:27:17 AM

  7. I was picked on at school for having a KIDNEY TRANSPLANT and let me tell - school officials do nothing. Teachers sometimes even join in to get in with the "popular students."

    Posted by: AlexM | Sep 28, 2010 8:30:29 AM

  8. I agree with Brice. It's murder. It's time to publicly humiliate kids who bully.

    Bullying is murder.

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Sep 28, 2010 8:34:25 AM

  9. I'm pissed at the school, undoubtedly. They should have taken better precautions, and be more vigilant in protecting kids from bullies. However, I know the parents must think that had they locked the pistol up in a more secure place like a gun vault, rather than a shelf, their son MAY be with them today. That type of fear will probably haunt the parents for a long while. It's a shame kids still resort to such things, and I hope that kids that bullied him see what they have caused, because THEY are responsible too.

    Posted by: Chris | Sep 28, 2010 8:35:37 AM

  10. Here is the school's contact information. I think it might be wise to ask the administration to improve their studying of bullying issues for their students.


    Posted by: dbzeag | Sep 28, 2010 8:37:55 AM

  11. Excuse me JEFFNYC? Publicly humiliate children? Has the bullying now gone full circle? IMO children are the mirrors of society, and in this case, a very fucked up one.

    Posted by: Piet | Sep 28, 2010 9:14:46 AM

  12. I wonder if the following idea might be worth something:

    A bunch of LGBT people and straight allies would gather outside of this school and hold signs that say something like "If You Are Gay, It's OK, And Don't Leave Us, Because It Gets Better." so that when school gets out, all of the children (and especially the gay ones) would be able to see this message as a beacon of hope. This would essentially deliver the "It Gets Better" message from Dan Savage's project directly to the kids that need to see it. Then maybe once school is completely out, the group can march from the school to Houston's City Hall to protest and rally against anti-gay bullying and harassment, especially that Houston Mayor Annise Parker is one of us.


    Posted by: Sean Chapin | Sep 28, 2010 10:05:20 AM

  13. All the family has to do to catch the school district in a lie is to get a record of their own past phone calls made going back however far they need to. It will not only show them the numbers they called, it will give the date, time and duration of the call.

    Poll after poll shows that young people are more tollerant towards gay people and their issues, even accepting if you will, yet somehow bullying (against percieved gay and lesbian youth) is alive and well and more virulent than ever in our elementary, middle and high schools. And just this week I read here on Towleroad that violence and intollerance towards the LGBT community is on the rise on college campuses. Why is that? I have my suspicions. And your right. It's the usual suspects. Hopefully this latest surge will be their last, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 28, 2010 10:08:35 AM

  14. The only one responsible for this kids death....is the kid.

    Posted by: Sam | Sep 28, 2010 10:11:36 AM

  15. You want thoughts Sean. I say burn down the school. And then burn down the next and the next after that. Perhaps it is time to send a message. Otherwise you have blood on your hands just as much as Slaggie and her minions because you are not doing enough.

    Posted by: Jubal Harshaw | Sep 28, 2010 10:16:14 AM

  16. Obviously a tragedy, one with (as usual) many to blame -- the school, the bullies, and unfortunately, the parents too for keeping a loaded gun within easy reach.

    Posted by: Glenn | Sep 28, 2010 10:16:22 AM

  17. Do some of you honestly believe that this kid would have found no other way to kill himself if he couldn't get his hand on a gun? What if he had hung himself instead? Should his parents have hidden the rope better or stowed the extension cord on a higher shelf?

    Posted by: Geoff in TO | Sep 28, 2010 10:24:10 AM

  18. Jubal, don't destroy the infrastructure. Destroy the mores and apathy that enable bullying behavior. Start with the jobs of administrators, counselors and teachers that are aware of the problem yet do nothing.

    SamTroll: Porno Pete wants his butt plug back. So pull your head out of your own ass and shove back up LaBarbera's where it belongs.

    Posted by: Acronym Jim | Sep 28, 2010 10:37:04 AM

  19. This is the third child in recent months (after the children in Indiana and Minnesota). How many more? May his family accept our prayers for them.

    Posted by: Dan | Sep 28, 2010 10:49:09 AM

  20. Often, the teachers and administrators are some of the worst perpetrators of hate.

    Posted by: phineas | Sep 28, 2010 11:06:12 AM

  21. My heart breaks for the parents of Asher Brown. By all means, draw attention to the problem by going after the school administration. Your child was in the care of the school and if he died because of bullying that is obviously condoned by the educators, the school is guilty of negligent homicide.

    Posted by: mad1026 | Sep 28, 2010 11:28:07 AM

  22. Student suicide is likely to continue until schools are in a position to discuss the issue.

    Until schools are willing and able to openly discuss GLBT and religious issues they will continue to fail their students.

    Hopefully these parents will find an attorney who can provide a little pressure to facilitate that discussion.

    Posted by: Fred | Sep 28, 2010 11:33:37 AM

  23. @Sean,

    I love the idea of going to schools to tell kids: It Gets Better.

    I wonder if I should call my school districts and see if we can start a "It Gets Better" Nonprofit to go and talk to kids.

    Is there one out there? And if not, does anyone want to help me start one?

    I HATE reading these stories. As a mom, it breaks my heart because I think: that could be my baby.

    Kids need to know that it gets better.

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 28, 2010 11:34:47 AM

  24. @ Steven

    This is Texas, the gun toting capital of rednecks. Here even your Pre-School teacher has an AK47 under her desk.In her classroom.

    Posted by: SSCHIEFRSHA | Sep 28, 2010 11:54:01 AM

  25. My heart breaks just looking at the photo of that young boy's sweet face. I can only imagine how things might have been different if adults at that school had stepped in and done the right thing. I hope the bullies in this sad story are brought to justice.

    My prayers are with his family.

    Posted by: Justin | Sep 28, 2010 12:49:53 PM

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