A 13-Year-Old's Suicide
Online readers respond to "Asher Brown: Tragedy and Questions," Hair Balls blog, by Richard Connelly, September 30:
Promoting intolerance: I can easily imagine an instance when someone takes the complaint but never informs the parent of proper paperwork to be filled out to start a thorough investigation. They should have phone records at least to cover their side of the story.
But let's not forget about the other institutions that continue to promote intolerance and create dangerous situations for these young kids, like the church and the army. Kids are ignorant, and they grow up in this atmosphere where they think being gay is "different" and use it as an excuse to bully others.
Very disturbing story: If bullying is proven, and because he told others he was gay — can this be considered a hate crime? I feel there should be some accountability coming from the school, the bullies (doubtful) and the bullies' parents. The school is being chicken. If other kids see the constant bullying, the teachers have to see some of it as well.
Not right: As a former educator, it's quite hard to believe the school, which states there are not any eyewitnesses to the bullying. CyFair ISD has a zero tolerance for bullying; however, it's up to teachers to enforce the code of conduct. Many teachers chalk it up to "kids being kids" or even look at it as the victim "tattling." This is not right!
I guarantee that teachers, other students and even lunchroom staff saw this child being bullied. Unfortunately, none had the courage to take up for a child who so clearly and desperately needed their voice.
I doubt that the children who brought this child to do the unthinkable will ever be punished. It makes me sad to think what kind of adults they will become.
Ignorance of individuals: This story is truly disturbing, especially for it to have happened in such a close proximity to where I live. First and foremost, I feel for the young boy and the pain that he must have endured for so long. What a horrible feeling it must have been each day to go to school. Secondly, my heart goes out to the parents who feel ignored and cheated of protection for their child.
I not only am a graduate of this district, but my children also attended CFISD schools. Hamilton Middle School as well as many CyFair schools are awesome, and I am proud to call them my home. This is an unfortunate occurrence, caused by the ignorance of certain individuals (cruel students, parents of these students, and staff members who overlooked the problem)...not the whole school, much less the state of Texas!
More death: There have been three other media-hyped, tragic gay teen suicides this month.
Tyler Clementi, 18, leaped to his death September 22 from the George Washington Bridge near his New Jersey college after classmates allegedly broadcast him in a same-sex encounter behind closed doors in his dorm room.
Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old in Tehachapi, California, died September 28 after ten days on life support after he hanged himself last week. Police say he had been mercilessly taunted by fellow students over his perceived sexual orientation.
Billy Lucas, 15, hanged himself September 9 at his Indiana home after years of reported harassment by students who judged him to be gay.
Are these places also infested with fake Christians?
Cover-up unlikely: I feel saddened by this media spectacle. Bullying is and has been out there. It is everyone's responsibility, especially that of parents, to teach children right from wrong and when to speak out. We cannot hold a school responsible for everything. The school is liable for school hours, and we are all fully trained to deal with bullying and the measures that must be taken. If we don't take these measures, we could lose our teaching certificates. I do not think anyone would put their livelihood in jeopardy and, as people are saying, cover up anything like this. It is tragic that children see suicide as an option. I feel that the real issue is, why was there such easy access to a firearm?
Anonymous School Employee
Internet ammo: Bullying is more pervasive now, and the perpetrators have even more ammo to spew their taunts and threats. I don't recall young people ending their lives nearly as often when all we had were rotary phones, snail mail and Kodak 35mm cameras. I personally don't use a BlackBerry or any other gadget-type phone with unnecessary time-wasting accessories. I just canceled my Facebook and Twitter accounts because after the numerous bullying-related deaths the past few years, I have no desire to be associated with social network-type media.
Online readers respond to "Texans Keep Out the Riff-Raff with New Tailgating Policy," Hair Balls blog, by Richard Connelly, October 1:
Waaah: So basically, a bunch of adults wearing jerseys won't get to loiter and get drunk for free anymore? Boo fucking hoo. Twenty-thousand less drunk drivers sounds like a good thing to me.
Change this policy: I have been supporting the Texans at Reliant for six years now. The first three years, I would go into the games. However, for the past three I have purchased parking passes to tailgate in the yellow lot. We bring a medium-size crew out to support the Texans every home game. I purchased all of the home game parking passes to tailgate for the past three years. Now, two home games in, you want to change policy to not allow us to tailgate by allowing only 2,000 tailgating tickets each week. B.S. All of the tailgate passes were bought up by brokers the minute this policy was made public. The No. 1 tailgate lot in the nation will be no more. I might as well just sell my parking passes. I seriously hope that you change this policy!
Another point of view: A parking pass is not a license to throw a big kegger in the parking lot. How the eff are you "supporting the team" by getting hammered and watching TV in the parking lot? Sounds like if you have a game ticket, it won't affect you at all.
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Corrections in the Space-Time Continuum
In the October 7, 2010, story "Intelligent Life" by Chasen Marshall, April Evans's team name was misreported; she worked with Vehicle Integrated Performance Environments and Resources (VIPER). Her maternal grandfather, who had a profound effect on her life, was a machinist with McGill Maintenance. The date of Earth Day 2010 was misidentified. And the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) was the organization that helped organize Evans's speaking to members of Congress.
The Houston Press regrets the errors.