After years of bullying, Seth Walsh, 13, of Tehachapi, hanged himself. Found unconscious and not breathing, he was flown to Kern Medical Center and kept on life support for 10 days. He died Tuesday. A memorial service is planned for Friday, October 1st.
Asher Brown, 13, of Houston, shot himself.
Billy Lucas, 15, of Greensburg Indiana, hanged himself.
All three of these suicides occurred this month, and were due to anti-gay bullying. Seth had endured years of harassment, both at school and at a local park. School officials at Jacobsen Middle School say they had no reports of bullying, but had placed Seth in independent study this term, after only 2 weeks of school. Police in Tehachapi say there is no law against bullying, so they cannot prosecute Seth’s tormentors. Asher and Billy were also harassed for being gay, or thought gay, and finally took their own lives.
Meanwhile, across this country, right-wing religious nutjobs continue to fight anti-bullying laws, claiming they are part of the “gay agenda”, meant to promote homosexuality. Sounding pious and self-righteous, they would prevent schools from teaching diversity, tolerance, and respect, especially if sexual orientation is mentioned. Some have even gone as far as to publicly claim that Billy Lucas was going to hell for embracing homosexuality.
I find myself wishing hell actually existed, so that there could be a special place in it reserved for these people.
Harry Potter reminds us: