Four US teens bullied for being gay die by suicide in a month
At least four incidents of young men killing themselves after being bullied over their sexual orientation have been reported in the US in the last month.
The most recent death was of New Jersey student Tyler Clementi, who jumped from a bridge after his roommate allegedly taped him having sex with a man.
Dharun Ravi of Plainsboro, New Jersey, and Molly W Wei of Princeton have been charged with invasion of privacy after they allegedly streamed the footage on the internet.
On September 23rd, 13-year-old Asher Brown, from Houston, Texas, shot himself in the head. His grieving parents said he had been persistently harassed by other students who thought he was gay.
Fifteen-year-old Billy Lucas, of Indiana, hanged himself on September 9th. Classmates said he had been bullied for years over his sexual orientation.
Another 13-year-old, Seth Walsh from Minnesota, died in hospital on Wednesday, eight days after attempting to hang himself from a tree. He is said to have endured taunts and abuse for being gay from other students.
It is unclear whether suicides for young gay men are up, or if there has been better reporting of their deaths. LGBT students are known to be at a higher suicide risk than their heterosexual peers.
No one is expected to be charged over the harassment which led to the deaths of the three younger boys.
In Seth’s case, police found that no crime had been committed.
In Billy’s case, a Facebook memorial set up for him was hit by more homophobic abuse, as well as apologies from some of the students who had harassed him.
Meanwhile, Asher’s parents say they repeatedly complained to his school about the persecution but officials did not take the reports seriously.
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