My bullying series uncovers key insights and profiles young people who have committed suicide due to bullying (commonly called bullycide). Click here to read my series from the beginning
Asher Brown, 13, took his life on September 23, 2010 in his home in Cypress, Texas. Like many of the other teens who have recently committed suicide, Asher was severely bullied at his school. He was picked on because of his small stature, his religion and because he did not wear designer clothes.
Other kids accused Asher of being gay. They taunted him with gay slurs. Some performed mock gay sexual acts on him during gym class. The day before he died, one bully tripped Asher down a flight of stairs at school. As he gathered his belongings, the bully kicked him down the remaining flight of stairs. Asher’s case truly gives meaning to the term bullycide.
Asher’s parents, David and Amy Truong, report that he was under constant harassment. They complained to school officials over the preceding 18 month period. Other students confirmed that Asher had been repeatedly bullied. As is so often the case, school officials denied any knowledge of the bullying. This claim infuriated the Truong’s. Other parents from the same district have since made similar complaints about the lack of school response to bullying.
David said, “My son put a gun to his head because he couldn’t take what he was hearing and the constant teasing.” Amy added: “They called him different names for being homosexual. He just had enough.” Asher was found dead in his father’s closet. He left no note.
The Truong’s plead with other parents: “Please if you have children that you think may be bullied, if they seem sad or withdrawn and you ask questions and they say “I’m fine.” Push past that. Push past the “I’m fine.” It’s extremely important. These kids are worried about retribution for speaking up.” Former First Lady Laura Bush recently spoke up joining the Truong’s plea to make schools safe for all teens – including gay teens.
Asher’s life is gone but not forgotten. The Houston Chronicle reports: “Asher’s worn-out tennis shoes still sit in the living room of his home while his student progress report – filled with straight A’s – rests on the coffee table.” So much talent. Dearly loved by his family. Another child of God robbed of life.
(1) Read the Houston Chronicle article covering his death.
(2) Watch local ABC News coverage of Asher’s death.
(3) Listen to “Asher’s Song” with music and lyrics by Kris Miller.
(4) Listen to a tribute to Asher.
(5) Watch Anderson Cooper’s coverage of Asher’s death on CNN.
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