A Montana high school student, whose parents accused his school of failing to protect him after he spoke out about being bullied, has committed suicide on Feb. 14.
Deon Gillen, 17, committed suicide after telling his parents that he was heavily harassed at school by other students.
His parents reached out to the school to make them aware of the problem and ask for help, to which the middle school principal responded, “just drop the whole thing.”
Bullying against Deon continued throughout his high school years, and the teen’s parents felt the school was still failing to protect their son. They sued the Livingston School District in April 2014 for failing to react to and take action against their son’s harassment.
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According to the lawsuit filed by his parents, doctors found Deon’s arms covered in bruises and knuckle imprints. He reportedly told his school counselor that he had suicidal thoughts as a result of the bullying.
Deon said that multiple students had punched him in the genitals repeatedly. He had to visit a doctor to seek treatment for genital abrasions and painful urination resulting from the physical abuse.
Deon's parents made arrangements with the school to help the teen avoid his tormentors as much as possible. However, Deon said he still had several classes with some of them and had to see them at lunch and in the hallways on a daily basis.
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As of a result of the bullying, Deon was diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression with psychotic features at Billings Clinic.