Just another dead gay kid, age 13
September 28th, 2010
On another website I’ve been having a conversation with some folk who “do not perceive homosexuality to be a normal or healthy human variation or way of living.” And they support Focus on the Family in their opposition to targeted anti-bullying programs because such programs are all just a cover to “pass off pro-gay political fluff as curriculum in the guise of bullying prevention.”
And because they support the cultivation and continuance of a culture of disapproval towards homosexuality, they oppose anything that might suggest to kids that it’s ok to be gay. They even fear that telling kids not to pick on others due to sexual orientation might make some vulnerable questioning kid identify with being gay and send him on a path to sin and misery.
I could understand such fears if we were talking in the abstract. I could consider the fear and ignorance behind their concerns and try and find a way to assure them that just because a school accepts gay kids does not mean that it rejects those who believe that sexuality outside of the confines of a bronze age morality code is sinful.
But then I read stories like this one. (Houston Chronicle)
Asher Brown’s worn-out tennis shoes still sit in the living room of his Cypress-area home while his student progress report — filled with straight A’s — rests on the coffee table.
The eighth-grader killed himself last week. 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, his family said, was “bullied to death” — picked on for his small size, his religion and because he did not wear designer clothes and shoes. Kids also accused him of being gay, some of them performing mock gay acts on him in his physical education class, his mother and stepfather said.
I am so f*cking sick of this. This little boy, 13 years old, was trying to come to terms with his sexuality (he had just come out to his family). His parents were trying their hardest to help. But they could not get his school to support them.
School district spokeswoman Kelli Durham said no students, school employees or the boy’s parents ever reported that he was being bullied.
That statement infuriated the Truongs, who accused the school district of protecting the bullies and their parents.
“That’s absolutely inaccurate — it’s completely false,” Amy Truong said. “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.”
And this just makes me insane.
On the last week of his life he was kicked down a flight of stairs. When he tried to retrieve his book bag, other students kicked his books away. The school “turned up no witnesses.”
But is isn’t just the administrators that are morally responsible for Asher’s death. It is also all of those “good Christian people” who support Focus on the Family and their campaign to prevent schools from protecting gay kids.
I can understand how someone might not want a program that “promotes homosexuality.” But I cannot for the life of me understand their priorities. Is it really all that important to them that no one at Asher Brown’s school tell him that he’s okay and stop other students from tormenting him?
Because what we are seeing is the alternative. And I cannot fathom how you could possibly decide that it’s better for small gay children to die than support them.
UPDATE: reader tobyk reminds us that this is the same school district whose administrators refused to help Jayron Martin, a gay kid who was left with a concussion after being beaten with a metal pole.