Texas: Parents of gay teenage suicide victim drop school district lawsuit

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The parents of a gay teenage suicide victim in Texas have decided to drop their lawsuit against their son’s former school district.

Amy and David Truong sued Houston’s Cy-Fair Independent School District shortly after their son Asher Brown, 13, took his life because of alleged bullying based on his Buddhist beliefs, size and sexual orientation.

Asher’s parents claimed the district had repeatedly ignored the problem.

He died in September 2010, having shot himself with a gun, just hours after telling his father about his sexuality.

The school district denied the allegations, even claiming that Asher’s death stemmed from problems at home.

The parents subsequently campaigned for anti-bullying legislation in Texas and testified in favour of the state’s anti-bullying law, which was passed in 2011.

However, the law does not specifically prohibit bullying based on sexual orientation.

“All of this has been so difficult,” Amy Truong wrote on her blog recently after they dismissed the lawsuit last week. “Yet, no matter what happens, we have won. Everyone in the state has won. Laws have changed and everyone benefits from it.”

In dismissal documents filed last Wednesday in a US district court, the Houston Chronicle reports lawyers for the school district stated that there was no evidence that it had withheld or destroyed evidence.

They also said allegations that other students observed and reported Asher being abused in gym class were untrue.

“The only eyewitness they put forth actually recanted under oath and admitted to lying,” attorney Marney Collins Sims said.

The lawsuit was based on Title IX, meaning the parents had to prove Asher was being bullied because of gender or gender stereotypes.