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With a mother like this, who needs bullies?

Timothy Kincaid

September 16th, 2010

The mother of Billy Lucas is defending Billy… from assumptions that he was gay. (Fox 59)

The mother of a teen who killed himself after being bullied is speaking out. Annie Lucas told the Greensburg Daily News that billy was not gay and added that he was too young to know what he was.

She says quote:”I know everyone has these assumptions but they’re not true. I know he was bullied. It wasn’t that he was gay. He was bullied for everything.”

She goes on to say, “I don’t want this to turn into a gay activist thing. I don’t want it to turn into anything.”

How many gay kids have heard, “you’re not gay, you’re too young to know anyway” from a parent that was far more concerned about their own social standing, religious opinion, or selfish plans for their child than they were about the mental health of the kid trying to open up to them?

As we’ve said from the beginning, we don’t know if Billy was gay.

But I do know that the bullying he experienced was primarily over assumptions about his sexual orientation. And I do know that if I were a bullied gay kid with this mother, life just might seem unbearable.

And now Annie Lucas is trying to make his death meaningless.

UPDATE:
I believe I neglected to share a detail that may have influenced my thinking on this matter. When reading the various news stories about Billy’s suicide, I ran across this comment:

Lucas had a history of fighting with his mother and problems at school.

Although I did not include it in my original commentary, it did impact the extent to which this story touched me. I felt that this poor kid may have had no adults in his corner and I do think that it is likely that his lack of a support network at home or school or anywhere really contributed to his overall feeling of worthlessness.

Comments

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Joe Brummer
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

Many of our parents, including my own at one point were where she is. It is painful for her to learn her son might have been gay because society told her the same thing it told us: being gay is wrong, bad and you keep it secret. I hear you are pissed because you want her to see the meaning in this we see. I myself have a hard time holding her accountable for it. She is in a lot of pain.

I must admit, I was sad and a little angry when I read this post because I value compassion, especially for a mother who just lost her son and at the same time is learning things that only pour salt on the wounds. I would ask you rethink this post. Maybe make an update that takes into account, that although this mother may not be doing what “we” want, just did just have a son take his own life. Do we really want to punish her for how she is handling her pain?

I am not saying I agree or disagree with you or her. I am saying we all would benefit from more empathy and compassion in these cases.

Everett
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

I second Joe Brummer’s post. As hard as it may be, maybe we just need to give this woman a break (for now) since she is grieving the loss of her child. It was not right for her to say that stuff, but perhaps it was just the grief causing her to think that way.

I hope she comes around and understands that whether her son was gay or not, what matters was that the tolerance of bullying at her son’s school IS the problem and not “gay activists.”

Priya Lynn
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

I disagree with Joe. It seems she’s less concerned with the loss of her son then she is with the idea that people might think she gave birth to a gay boy.

Joe Brummer
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

Priya,
You aren’t actually disagreeing with me at all. I agree with you. I think she is very concerned with the idea her son was gay. I am asking us to have compassion for “WHY” that is and to recognize the regardless of wrong or right, this is painful for her.

Rumi the poet says it well: “out there beyond the ideas or right doing and wrong doing, there is a field, I will meet you there”

She may come around later, just like my mom did!

F Young
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

“Annie Lucas told the Greensburg Daily News that Billy was not gay and added that he was too young to know what he was.”

So, he didn’t know whether or not he was gay, but his mother knows that he wasn’t.

Right.

“And now Annie Lucas is trying to make his death meaningless.”

Well said.

Priya Lynn
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

Joe, I don’t have much sympathy for someone who’s more concerned with being embarrassed then that a life was lost.

Rob Lll
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

By sad coincidence, a family I know recently lost a son about the same age in a horrible accident. Seeing what they’re going through, I am really REALLY not inclined to pass judgement on a parent at this stage in the grieving process (especially given that we’re talking about a kid who killed himself, which makes it even worse). There is no more punishing sorrow in life than the loss of a child. I seriously doubt whether I would survive such an event with my sanity intact. God only knows what I would say in the immediate aftermath. See what she says a year from now, and you’ll get a better sense of who she is.

Having said that, she inadvertently makes an important point. Billy may well have not been gay. And you know what? It didn’t matter one bit to his persecutors. He was still bullied on that assumption that he was.

So, no, it isn’t simply a “gay activist” thing. It could happen to just any kid, which is another reason why all parents and adults involved in education should care about this issue.

Richard W. Fitch
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

I’m going to side with Joe. I’m closer to this than most of you. Greensburg(pop. 10K+) is the county seat of Decatur(pop. ~25K) situated in a largely agricultural area. Like most Midwestern small towns, it is a place where everybody knows(or thinks they know) everybody else’s business. The stigma of possibly having a gay son in this conservative environment is just not something a grieving parent readily can come to terms with. As has been stated, the point is ultimately not whether Billy was gay but that a school settings was intolerable to the point of causing a 15 y/o to take his own life. News clips of the interview with Chapelle, the school principal, send a chilling message. He seems to have been aware that Billy had problems but never took the professional initiative to determine the reason. Even the county coroner tried to downplay the suicide as a result of bullying by stating the boy had been in psychological counseling off and on for some time. DUH! Any chance that it was because of the relentless bullying?????

Joe Brummer
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

Priya,

Do you really believe this is the case? When I read you state: “I don’t have much sympathy for someone who’s more concerned with being embarrassed then that a life was lost.” I am feeling baffled and needing some clarity, do you really believe she is more concerned with embarrassment than the loss of the child? Can we as humans really prioritize the order in which others grieve loss of life?

I believe in my heart that compassion means taking a step back and standing in another person’s shoes without judgment or blame. To empathize purposely and say I “want” to understand just “how” you are experiencing what you are experiencing. Take two steps back…pretend you are in this person’s shoe’s and empathize with how you would act? What would you say? What is the pain that would drive your thoughts and actions? You do NOT have to agree with other people’s action BUT if you want to make change in the world you MUST take the time to UNDERSTAND where they are coming from in the world.

Emily K
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

part of me thinks that this is a defense mechanism for the woman. Losing a child to suicide destroys you. I’ve personally seen it in the faces of the parents of a kid who died that way. I don’t envy anyone having to do that.

Priya Lynn
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

Joe asked “I am feeling baffled and needing some clarity, do you really believe she is more concerned with embarrassment than the loss of the child?”.

Well I can’t be certain, but the evidence I see points to that conclusion. It reminds me a bit of something one of my sisters said. Two of my other sisters got diabetes as children. The aforementioned sister told one of them “I’d rather have one of my children die than get diabetes.”. A child’s well-being isn’t always a mother’s primary concern.

As to how I’d react, I’d be outraged that kids were allowed to bully my child to death. I’d be concerned that they were allowed to attack him as a gay whether he was or not. The last thing I’d be worried about is trying to convince the world that my child was not gay.

Priya Lynn
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

I just realized that part of my comment may have been unclear. My sister felt that rather than she herself get diabetes (not her child) she would prefer to have one of her children die.

David Malcolm
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

Honestly I think this post is really insensitive. Regardless of what you might feel, he was her son. Parents have no good recourse for bullying. If they force the hand of the school they make their child look weak which will only fuel the kids, if they do nothing this can happen.
She’s his mother, perhaps they were far more close than you know. Perhaps he’d confided in her about a girl he liked. The fact is if anything you are the one wanting to make his death meaningless. You’d rather make him a freaking martyr for gay suicides everywhere, when we already have a ton of those, than let him be his mother’s little boy.
I can’t blame her at all for wanting to be alone with her grief and not have the media involved.

This kid wasn’t just another sat, he was somebody’s baby boy, and if his mother can’t even think straight to realize why someone else might want to pay tribute to her son’s pain in another way, that should be fine with us.

Priya Lynn
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

David said “If they force the hand of the school they make their child look weak which will only fuel the kids, if they do nothing this can happen.”.

Oh poppycock. The child looks weak regardless, that’s why he’s being bullied. Schools have a responsiblity to protect children, not pathetically hide behind “boys will be boys”. This is something that shcools could easily do, supervised recesses and lunch hours would readily take care of the problem and its absolutely inexcusable that they allow this to happen.

No one said the kid was just another stat, no one said he was gay, just that he was abused as though he was gay and his mother far from bwanting to be alone with her grief sought to communicate with the media and tellingly her first and only priority was getting out the message that her child was not gay – it seemed to be of little to no concern to her to grieve the loss of her child or demand action to prevent that which caused his death.

Regan DuCasse
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

” I don’t want this to turn into a gay activist thing.., I don’t want this to turn into anything.”

Those are the words that have rendered her son’s life of it’s meaning. He was bullied by anti gay sentiment. All it takes is the accusation or suspicion and IT DOESN’T MATTER what the orientation of the child is.

What matters is that children torment another over the poison that adults teach them that being gay is worthy of such torment, that the adults give tacit approval and have no clue or interest in making children understand what being gay is and what sexual orientation means.

That’s the point in why it’s difficult to give the boy’s mother THAT much of a pass.
Sirdeaner Walker went RIGHT to work on the anti gay issue and her son was much younger than Billy.

I understand that some people don’t know how to articulate their feelings in the way that they should or that some people might expect.
But Mrs. Lucas managed to say SOMETHING about the very thing she knows killed her son.
And makes life miserable for thousands of children whether they are gay or not.

If she’s not up to being an activist, fine. I can understand that.

But I don’t and won’t understand that she’s already lessened the impact of her son’s life as if those of us who ARE activists against what killed her boy, aren’t doing something important and are working hard to prevent what happened.

truthteller
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

Joe, you are absolutely right.

Tone
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

She is grieving the tragic and unexpected death of her son. I’m not going to look down my nose at her. That family needs support and understanding, not criticism, not right now.

beachewtoy75
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

This is the absolute worst entry I’ve ever read on BTB.

She just lost her son, she can say and feel whatever the hell she wants.

Lynn David
September 16th, 2010 | LINK

I’m going to have to go along with Joe and Richard. I live among the cornfields and woods of Indiana. I think sometimes we are a bit too soon to find fault in a statement. Certainly, this mother’s grief does not make for a statement which should be put to scrutiny.

Cooner
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

I’m inclined to agree, can’t harsh on the woman too much. Yes, it’s unfortunate she phrased things the way she did.

But the way I see it, we don’t know whether Billy was gay or not, and it’s very likely that neither did she. If this unfortunate tragedy has brought even a shadow of a doubt in her mind that her son might not have been straight, that means she’s going through the earliest stages of acceptance (denial, anger, etc.) at the same time she’s going thru the suicide of a child. That can’t be easy, especially if she wasn’t prepared for either.

So yeah, it’d be gosh darn nice if she had the perspective and fortitude to give the tragedy some meaning by taking a principled stand, but I don’t think we can expect that of her, and I’m willing to give her some slack for now.

Other Fred in the UK
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

I doubt most Mothers who have just lost a child and are then hounded by reporters trying to explore the gay angle would be able to give a caring, compassionate, understanding quote.

I think we all should give this woman a break.

Nathaniel
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

I think this post is a little too harsh on a mother that just lost her son in one of the worst ways imaginable.

On the other hand “too young to know what he was” is simply a rather broad statement. I’d think that there are plenty of teenagers his age that do know if they are gay or not.

But I think passing judgement on his mother now would be disrespectful of both Billy and his family.

werdna
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

I have to agree with many of the other comments, this post is really off-target and displays a callous lack of empathy for a grieving mother.

Argos
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

“And I do know that if I were a bullied gay kid with this mother, life just might seem unbearable.”

“And now Annie Lucas is trying to make his death meaningless.”

I really think these two lines are in pretty poor taste. I do think this woman was wrong in stating that her son was too young to know if he was gay or not because many people even younger than him definately know whether or not they are gay, but I cannot imagine the kind of suffering she is enduring now.

I do however, find it troubling that she doesn’t appear to be angry as hell that the school district allowed her child to be so mercilessly harassed that he felt suicide was the only solution. Maybe she actually does feel that way and it just hasn’t been openly expressed, who knows. One really sad thing about this tragedy is if her son DID happen to be gay, and DID kill himself because of bullying about it, she will now never know.

Bullying in any form MUST NOT BE TOLERATED in our schools (or in the workplace, but most workplaces already have the common sense to take action against this sort of behavior). Schools and their employees should be held completely accountable for what happens under their watch. And unfortunately in the case of many LGBT’s (or those even perceived to be LGBT, which may have very well been the case here), many of our ‘educators’ really seem to have little to no regard for the welfare of these children. It’s deplorable, and it infuriates me to no end.

Emily K
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

I agree with Other Fred’s comment:

I doubt most Mothers who have just lost a child and are then hounded by reporters trying to explore the gay angle would be able to give a caring, compassionate, understanding quote.

TJMcFisty
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

“I don’t want this to turn into a gay activist thing. I don’t want it to turn into anything.”

Translates to: “I just want my son back.”

I’m with Bearchew. This is rather harsh, Tim. It wasn’t some known anti-gay shmuck saying this, it’s the mom who’s grieving in the spotlight.

Regan DuCasse
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

I know that this is a terrible event, and a suicide always carries exceptional burdens for the survivors.

But her son died because of anti gay hatred. Her son was tormented because tormenting children perceived as gay is not only the sport of their peers, but adults are sometimes equally culpable in saying harsh things to a vulnerable child as well.

Gay people and their allies are the ONLY ones out there advocating this stop.
Working with schools to prevent it from happening. It’s going to be a gay thing regardless and although this woman, I’m sure, would prefer to grieve in private and that’s understandable.
She’s made it known that she’s resentful there is any gay angle to the issue at all.
Even thought there glaringly is, whether she likes it or not.

It’s not gay people, or their intentions that killed her boy.
But it sure is the intentions of his school that they bear no liability, and it’s the intentions of politically active groups like FRC and TVC that such bullying continue.

It is interesting that she ISN’T on the side of who is doing what they can to keep children alive.
As I said, Sirdeaner Walker suffered the same outrage, but her response was a 360 degree difference.

And we all know why. Some of us are just being brutally honest in response to something brutal that could be prevented if more parents and educators got on board with us.

Mike Camardelle
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Dude. Give the woman a break. Her son committed suicide and maybe she just recently found out he thought he was gay. And maybe, just maybe, he was confused about his orientation.

How many times are boys/men thought of as gay just because they are effeminate? It’s stereotyping at its worst form.

I’m into sports, no, a fanatic about sports, and I’m gay. I don’t fit the “stereotype”. He did, and paid the price for it.

All she’s really saying is that she doesn’t want her son’s death to become a gay rights issue. She’s in mourning for the loss of her child.

Embarcadero
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

This woman may in fact be a homophobe, but we don’t know that for sure. She may be reacting to people wanting to assert meaning to a story that she is only beginning to understand.

I think it’s really cheeky to criticize this mother’s reaction to news about her son’s death. There are moments in people’s lives when they need to be given latitude to be/sound crazy, and the death of a child is one of those moments.

There are no shortage of awful people in this story whose words and misdeed should be held up as a call to action. Please, give the mother a pass.

DN
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

I can think of one mother who was most certainly a heterosupremacist, and her religious bullying led her son to kill himself.

Her name is Mary Griffith, the mother of Bobby Griffith, subject of the movie, Prayers for Bobby.

Mary Griffith is now a staunch ally of the gay community and is doing everything she can to create a world where people don’t treat children the way she treated hers.

Even when a mother is outright rotten to her kid, she can come around after his death. As far as I know, this mother was perfectly kind to her son. Give her time to grieve before passing judgment on her.

customartist
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

I knew I was attracted to men, on some level, at the age of 5.

At this point in her development, while surely hurt, she is trying to avoid the public humiliation of admitting that she Might Even Have Possibly had a gay child. I feel so sorry for her. She has lost a child.

ALSO I feel that she needs to understand, at a later time, that she herself is a part of the probnlem here in so much that she failed to defend her son against society, and all because she could not even bring herself to entertain the possibility that he mey be gay.

We cannot change this particular situation, but we can direct social consciousness through education in an attempt to mitigate future youth from such a fate. It is angering that the Religious Right fights against education. It’s fine to allow gays, and those perceived as gay, to be killed.

Priya Lynn
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Other Fred said “I doubt most Mothers who have just lost a child and are then hounded by reporters trying to explore the gay angle would be able to give a caring, compassionate, understanding quote.”.

Maybe you’re right, but before I believe you first show me the evidence that reporters were hounding her over whether or not her son was gay. Like I said I can’t be certain of her motivations but the fact that her first and only priority was denying that her son was gay leads me to believe she was much more concerned about being embarrased that she was seen to have a gay son then she was about his suicide. If it was me I probably wouldn’t have been able to give a caring, compassionate, and understanding quote, but I sure wouldn’t have been expressing concern over what others thought my son’s orientation was, I’d be expressing anquish that this bullying was allowed to happen.

Emily K
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

I’ve had a little time to mull this situation over, and i have a couple thoughts.

The mother could be in shock by the dead, the fact that the death was a suicide, and the fact that there is strong evidence showing it happened because he was bullied as “gay” even if he wasn’t out as a gay kid, and she may have never thought he was gay. (maybe he exhibited stereotypical characteristics, but honestly, some parents are just oblivious.) The sheer shock of it all might be so much that she is not ready to be friendly to the 24 hour gay news cycle.

Another thought is that she may well be a homophobe. And she may have caused internal turmoil in the boy – IF he IS gay, or was confused about his sexuality – contributing to an atmosphere where he would kill himself. IF all these things are the case, then the mother must be feeling unimaginable guilt inside, which is masked by denial that this could ever be a “gay issue.” After all, if it’s not a gay issue, her homophobic attitude would not have had a hand in her son’s death.

All of these things, IN MY PERSONAL OPINION, show us a woman who is both an imperfect human being and in immense pain.

If news comes out of her having pressured her son to be more masculine, or quoting scripture as Bobby Griffith’s mother did, and becoming a bully at home either passively or aggressively, my attitude will change. But not much. Remember what DN said, Mary Griffith came around and is a staunch ally now. Give this woman some time, she may do the same.

But right now, she comes home and her house does not have her son’s voice in the background. His clothes have his smell but that will fade away. She will see things in the store she used to pick up without thinking because he liked them in his lunches. Then suddenly she’ll realize she doesn’t need to pick those things up anymore.

It’s a difficult situation for everyone, to say the least.

David
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Just a thought. I don’t think we could ever say ” well, if this happened to me, I would do this…” with any degree of certainty. Bottomline is, i don’t think any of us are mothers who have lost a child Due to suicide caused by anti-gay bullying. We dont know whats going on with her. Give her some compassion. I’m guessing she’s dealing with so much right now, we couldn’t even begin to understand.

Priya Lynn
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Well, I’m certain I wouldn’t be more worried about whether or not people thought my son was gay than I would about the fact that he was bullied.

Timothy Kincaid
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

See UPDATE above

Perhaps this is something that many missed in the story. I didn’t include it in the original commentary because I wasn’t sure how relevant it was, but it did contribute to how much this story touched me:

Lucas had a history of fighting with his mother and problems at school.

I think it extremely likely that his lack of a support network at home contributed to his overall feeling of worthlessness.

TampaZeke
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Two points.

Something tells me that if it had been the boy’s FATHER instead of mother who said what she said, he would be getting a lot less sympathy here.

And two, my MOTHER was the very person who just about drove me to committing suicide. I know others who had the same experience with hateful, bigoted mothers. I can imagine that if my mother had succeeded in pushing me over the edge people would be defending her and telling people that they should be more compassionate of her in her time of loss. I’m not ready to jump on any bandwagon going after this woman but NONE of you know whether or not she was an accomplice in this tragedy. It may be inappropriate to chastise her not knowing all the facts but it seems a bit absurd to paint her as a victim or a saint without knowing all the fact either.

andrew
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Are you kidding me here? Your “correction” is to let us know that a 14 year old had a history of fighting with his mother? Based on that flimsy excuse, you effectively blame this mother (yes, that is what you did in your headlne) for her son’s suicide? You think it “extremely likely” that she contributed to it? BASED ON WHAT INFORMATION?

I’m stunned at the insensitivity and self-importance here. What 14-year old has NOT had a history of fighting with his mother? I was expecting your link to take me to some history of abuse, to some membership in an anti-gay church, or perhaps an ex-gay ministry. But no. Your “justification” is (gasp) that a 14 year old boy fought with this mother. A lot.

Seriously, the woman just watched as they cut HER boy down and then watched as they put him in the ground. Strangers with an agenda — who never met him — are trying to claim as certain something that’s mere speculation, and make him their mascot. The news media is salivating. And here you come to explain to everyone that SHE’S at fault. I pray to god she does not read this article.

As if she’s not going to run that tape through her head for the rest of her life anyways. Ever met the mother of a suicidal teen? I have — I had to hold one up for 10 minutes at her son’s wake because she could not stand. It’s devastating. And I find it “highly likely” that she’ll blame herself for the rest of her life — without your help.

I was a difficult teen — I was bullied, and I fought with my parents all the time. Parenting a pugnacious kid like me was tough enough, but bullying is especially hard — knowing when to step in and when to let them learn for themselves. When intevening does any good, and when it only makes things worse. Trying to piece out from teenagers — who suddenly stop communicating — what’s going on in their life.

And into this context rolls “judge and jury” Tim. Again.

I’m shocked at the insensitivity and self-centeredness here — with a website platform comes RESPONSIBILITY, Tim. A responsibility to NOT base inflammatory headlines on whatever emotional pique happens to have struck you at the moment.

I’m passionate about ending gay-baiting as a tactic for bullying — but not on the back of a grieving mother I never met and can’t possibly know.

You owe this woman… check that… you owe MY mother an apology.

Emily K
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

I would not be giving any less sympathy to the boy’s father, Zeke. But that’s because I’ve seen fathers cry at the death of their loved one. One friend of mine who killed himself always had a tenuous relationship with his father. You could even say tensions at home were caused by him. But at the funeral his father could look no one in the eye, and couldn’t look at the picture of his son I’d drawn for him. He turned his head away when i tried to. He was a broken man.

A grieving father is in just as much pain as a grieving mother. It may be expressed differently at times but it is just as great.

Mihangel apYrs
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy,

you can’t know the ins and outs of the relationship, so please show charity. The loss of a child is usually the most traumatic event in a parent’s life, and whatever the reason for his suicide, it will be seen by any parent as a sign of failure.

I don’t care why he was bullied, bullying for any reason is evil

Priya Lynn
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Andrew said “I pray to god she does not read this article.”.

Yes, that’ll help

Andrew said “You owe this woman… check that… you owe MY mother an apology.”.

No he does not. As he doesn’t know your mother and has never had any interactions with her (good or bad) he owes her nothing.

Come back down to earth and reconnect with reality.

Other Fred in the UK
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

Maybe you’re right, but before I believe you first show me the evidence that reporters were hounding her over whether or not her son was gay.

I am afraid I have no such evidence. However it seems to me far more plausible that reporters sought her out and asked questions than she sought them out and gave them an unsolicited quote.

Andrew
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Oh save it, Priya, you’re as bad as Tim here.

Being a mother of a teenage boy is hard.
Being a mother of a teenage boy victimized by bullies is harder.
And being the woman who watches as they cut the rope from which your child’s lifeless body is hanging is, well, indescribeable.

Tim knows my mother just as much as he knows this woman — which is to say “not at all”… and that didn’t stop him from publicly posting a message that held her culpable for her son’s suicide. What a disgrace. So yeah, you guys owe every mother out there an apology for scoring political points on their back.

But, hey, whatever makes you guys feel righteous.

Priya Lynn
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Other Fred said “I am afraid I have no such evidence. However it seems to me far more plausible that reporters sought her out and asked questions than she sought them out and gave them an unsolicited quote.”.

That’s what I thought Fred. I’m sure the reporters did seek her out rather than vice-versa, but somehow I doubt they pressed her solely with the question of whether or not her son was gay. Once again, I may be wrong, but the evidence suggests the primary thing on her mind was ameliorating her embarrasement at people possibly thinking she had a gay son rather than expressing concern over the fact that this bullying had been allowed to take place.

Andrew said “Oh save it, Priya, you’re as bad as Tim here.”.

Oh, no, there’s no need to save it, I have plenty to go around, you continue spouting BS and I’ll continue to give you the gears.

Andrew said “Tim knows my mother just as much as he knows this woman — which is to say “not at all”… and that didn’t stop him from publicly posting a message that held her culpable for her son’s suicide. What a disgrace. So yeah, you guys owe every mother out there an apology for scoring political points on their back.”.

That’s pretty dumb Andrew. Tim knows this mother a bit and yours not at all. If your mother had done the same thing in the same circumstances then we’d be right to criticize her too. You don’t need to be bossom budies with someone to see sometimes they deserve critidism, we don’t need to know this child’s bullies to condemn them and we don’t need to know this mother to condemn her callousness. We didn’t “score political points on every mother’s back”, we said nothing whatsoever about every mother so not only is your comment off the mark, its profoundly stupid.

Eastsidejim
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Having read most of the posts condemning Tim or the few supporting him… I can only give what my response would have been, had I been put in that situation…

The news story would have read, about the real and creditable threats that I would have made against the teachers and management of the school system that allowed such bullying to continue (and I can’t believe that they didn’t know about it).

I certainly wouldn’t be saying anything personal about my son or my family to the media. To me the reason for the bullying wouldn’t matter, what would matter is that the school failed in it’s responsibility and my son was dead because of it!

Sorry, I just can’t cut the mother here any slack… and I did grow up in a rural and conservative area in southern Ohio.

gordo
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

I feel so badly for this poor kid and the many many kids whose lives are a living hell due to bulling and hate. I don’t give a damn about the mother. Let’s not lose focus, people. Focus on the Family, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, FRC, Concerned Women, ectc. have blood on their hands. They are the enemy. Let’s never forget that.

Regan DuCasse
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Hmmm…wonder what would have happened if this kid had brought a gun to school and blown away the little punks who hurt him?

Same root, different outcome…
The root here people has a gay angle, whether the mother likes it or not. Whether the school likes it or not.

There are people out there, whose ability to prevent this very thing, are being thwarted.
I don’t want to condemn the mother. But we can’t ignore the big, pink elephant dancing in the room.
We can leave the mother alone, for now. She can’t help anything.

But those kids had it in them to use anti gay torment. They personally attacked this boy, impressionable enough to believe everyone hated him.
And for some kids, being called gay is the worst thing that you could be called.
Certainly we have seen for ourselves that gay people are indicted as the worst kind of people to walk the earth.
Indeed, even children don’t think we have the right to walk the earth or share anything with us.
This kid believed too that his life wasn’t worth spit. And his school thought the same.

This IS a gay issue. So this family needs to be left alone.
I get that.

But this SCHOOL, the educators and those young savages, certainly NOT.

pepa
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

I agree with Tim.

Giving somebody space while they are grieving is understandable. But this woman, so called mother is not, or at least is not showing it. Then she makes a public POLITICAL statement, totally weird for somebody that is SUPPOSED TO BE GRIEVING. But she is such a damn puss that she *needs* to make a political point while still having this suicide fresh on our minds.

Her erratic behavior seems to say many things and maybe why her son took his own life. This might sound harsh but I think she deserves what happened to her son. I would have done the same things have I had his situation and facetious mother.

Other Fred in the UK
September 17th, 2010 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

I’m sure the reporters did seek her out rather than vice-versa, but somehow I doubt they pressed her solely with the question of whether or not her son was gay.

I totally agree, I am sure they were asking many questions.

However you and others seem to be presuming this woman’s are a fair representation of her thoughts, beliefs, priorities, etc. She has just lost her son, I an sure her mind at the moment is a constant rollercoaster of thoughts and feelings many of which are irrational. I really would draw no conclusion whatsoever from what she does (or does not) say in this immediate period following her son’s death.

werdna
September 18th, 2010 | LINK

Upon further thought I have to amplify my criticism. This post isn’t merely callous, it’s absolutely vile. It’s awful to imagine the shock a member of Billy Lucas’s family would feel encountering even the headline of this post.

Your whole attack is based two thin pieces of evidence. One (you’ve revealed in an update) is a single, un-sourced sentence in a news item. Without elaboration or further support we can’t know what their “history of fighting” consisted of or what they might have been fighting about.

The second is a partial, second-hand quote from an interview with the grieving mother at a funeral home–an interview in which she’s discussing how overwhelmed the family feels with the attention they’ve received since this story broke. The original story can be found here.

The Lucas family may not be embracing the plight of bullied LGBT youth in the way you’d like, but to jump so readily to the conclusion that Billy Lucas’s mom made his life “unbearable,” that she is as responsible for her son’s suicide as the bullies at school, is unfounded and frankly despicable.

To begin to wonder about the part family dynamics played in Billy Lucas’s suicide isn’t unreasonable. To draw any firm conclusion on so little evidence at this point is presumptuous. To declare those conclusions so boldly in a blog ostensibly dedicated to “fact checking” is unseemly and simply cruel.

The Lauderdale
September 18th, 2010 | LINK

Chalk me down as another reader who agrees with Joe Brummer.

pax58
September 19th, 2010 | LINK

First of all, the kid is dead, Theories about where the percentage of blame should go are not at this point, the point. Put anyone in this mother’s place and what they say at this moment should not be held against them. Whether she contributed to some inner hate or not.
I came out to my mother when I was fifty, I said, I am gay. She said, no you’re not. When I stated that she was wrong, she then stated, people that have those tendancies don’t have to act on them. She then let me know I was not welcome in her home.
Here’s the follow up: I talk to her every week and I always mention my partner. Someday when she dies, I will know I too the high ground,while not allowing myself to be pulled into self hate, that she was a part of creating.
I have my own children, tried to be the best parent in the world, according to at least one of them, I wasn’t. That’s the breaks when it comes to parenting.
Anti-gay issues in conservative communites makes everyone the victim, because it fills them all with hate and fear. I can tell you from personal experience that after years of pushing at this issue inside me that had been creaated outside of me, I don’t have time for hate of any kind anymore. I don’t hate my mother, I am just sad that she will never know the wonderful person that give my life meaning. But that is her decision, mine is to live a full life.
Give this mother a break, she may or may not come to terms with her son’s precieved sexual orientation (if it is a place like I grew up in, never) she will never come to terms with his dealth

H Soluna
September 20th, 2010 | LINK

Seems the school district has a history of hiding issues.

February 12, 2009
Schools Investigating Sexual ‘Hazing’ At Junior High
Adam Huening

The saying goes “boys will be boys” but some student athletes at the Greensburg Junior High School may have taken their pranks too far.

The Greensburg Daily News learned that at some point early in the junior high basketball season, members of the boys’ team engaged in some locker room hijinks that escalated into inappropriate behavior

http://greensburgdailynews.com/local/x212455070/Schools-Investigating-Sexual-Hazing-At-Junior-High

Debbie
September 20th, 2010 | LINK

My name is Debbie and Annie Lucas is my ex-stepmother. Her daughter Abby is my half-sister. Annie and my father put Abby in private school she now attends collage. Billy is Abby’s half-brother and this has been awful for this family. No mother should have to go through losing a child. Annie is trying to understand and live with the fact of her son taking his life. My son told me when he was 16 that he was gay and that took lots of adjustment on my mind. My sons help with answering my questions and helping me deal. I am just fine now. My son is 30 and he and his partner raise my 8 year old granddaughter. Annie does not have that option. Some people are fast to judge others. This is far from easy for her. My father has taken this very hard not because Billy may or may not have been gay but because a young man committed suicide and ended his young life. No more fishing trips, horseback riding, ice skating so you in judgment did you know Billy? This is devastating to our family. The issue here should be about bullying in our schools and our young kids dealing with it. Good coping skills for our kids are much needed so please stop judging others and put your comments to better use.

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