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Meet Asher Brown

Asher Brown was a 13 year old, 8th grade student in the Houston Texas suburb of Cypress who took his own life September 2010.

Asher was a straight A student whose constant harassment primarily from four students at Hamilton Middle School led him to commit suicide by a self inflicted gun shot to the head. He was harassed because of his small size, his Buddhist religion, lack of designer clothes and brand name shoes. Taunting students also claimed the child was gay.

In the days following, a friend of the boy created a Facebook page to memorialize his friend. But "cybertrolls" overwhelmed the memorial page with anonymous messages of hate and taunts directed to the family, posted photos of violence and dead bodies that the page was taken down. One posted photo of a man who had committed suicide by a gunshot head wound in his car carried the message to the family, "Did he look anything like this?" "No matter whatever you people do, you cannot hide from us trolls," one warned.

Asher's parents say they personally complained to school authorities for 18 months, but officials refused to take action. His family made several visits to the school and placed numerous phone calls pleading for help, but the calls were never returned. The same school officials still have their jobs supervising other children. Neither is there any report of the bullies having been removed from the classroom.

Other students and parents describe the period of complaints about the 13 year old's treatment had been lodged for several years, but say complaints continued falling on deaf ears. The school district now claims that no complaints were ever lodged or brought to their attention.

In March of 2011, a bill was filed at the Texas State Capitol, called Asher's Law, which would require Texas State Health Services and Texas Education Agency to coordinate and develop a suicide prevention program for all public schools. The bill also requires changes in the education code pertaining to discrimination, harassment, retaliation and bullying.

Further the bill would require school districts to provide an annual report of bullying incidents at each campus. The bill was signed into law in June of this year.

1 http://www.chron.com/life/mom-houston/article/Parents-Bullying-drove-Cy-Fair-8th-grader-to-1698827.php

2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hk-ERYSi44A Anderson Cooper 360 interview.

3 http://www.kens5.com/news/texas-news/New-bill-filed-at-State-Capital-targets-childhood-teen-bullying--117537883.html

4 http://h4pj.org/

5 http://www.chron.com/default/article/Cybertrolls-attacks-on-Web-add-to-mourners-pain-1702980.php

 

Steve Stewart Seminars | 276 N. El Camino Real #184 | Oceanside CA 92058 | 760-298-8146/Direct 760-216-1353/Cell | www.Steve-Stewart.com/ChooseLife