They claim school district took no action
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.
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Check out these resources for tips and other information
-- The Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386
-- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
-- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education: save.org
-- Suicide Prevention Resource Center: www.sprc.org
-- Every county operates immediate mental health crisis response services. For information, contact your local county human services agency.
How to make a difference
Congress is considering the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010, which would amend the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act to include bullying and harassment prevention programs.
The bill, S.3739, was introduced in the Senate on Aug. 5.
As usual, politics are at play during an election year. Right-wing conservatives claim the bill is part of the gay agenda and are fighting against its passage.
Call your U.S. senators and congress members and urge passage of the bill in Congress.