To update you on a blog posted yesterday, it is our sad duty to inform you that Seth Walsh, the California gay teen who attempted suicide on September 19 by hanging himself from a tree, has died after nine days of being on life support.
Walsh was just 13-years-old.
With Walsh’s passing, this means that September 2010 alone has witnessed the untimely deaths of three teenage boys, all of whom committed suicide due to school bullying on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.
On September 9, Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old from Greensburg, Indiana, also committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree. His friends say he was bullied for years by classmates who suspected he was gay.
On September 23, Asher Brown, a 13-year-old from Houston, Texas, came home from school while his parents were still at work and shot himself in the head. Asher’s parents, and numerous other parents and students, say Asher was bullied for years and that school administrators did nothing in response to phone calls, e-mails and visits to the school by Asher’s parents.
Memorial services for Seth Walsh and Asher Brown will take place this weekend.
As the media continues to cover these and other bullying-related stories, GLAAD urges reporters to probe further by asking questions that hold lawmakers and school administrators more accountable for bullying – an epidemic affecting nearly 9 out of 10 middle- and high-school students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, according to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Though many states prohibit bullying in schools, many (like Indiana) do not, while others (e.g. Texas) do not list specific categories of protection (i.e. sexual orientation, gender identity, etc.).