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Seth Walsh’s Mom Speaks Out About Her Son’s Anti-LGBT Bullying Related Death

Seth Walsh’s Mom Speaks Out About Her Son’s Anti-LGBT Bullying Related Death

Wendy Walsh, mother of 13-year-old Seth Walsh who in September hung himself from a tree in the family’s backyard and later died after falling into a coma from which he never woke, has spoken out in a new ACLU-backed video about the anti-gay bullying her son was victim to and how she wants school administrators to take steps to combat anti-LGBT bullying in America’s schools.

Wendy Walsh reveals in the video how she witnessed her son being bullied and how she pleaded with administrators at his school to do something about the bullying but, she says, found no help there. She also reads from her son’s suicide note and talks about the moment she found him.

The video is harrowing, Walsh’s pain is palpable, and there is some strong language, but it speaks of just how serious this issue is:

From the ACLU Blog of Rights:

Seth was in fifth grade when students started calling him “gay.” As he got older, the verbal abuse and taunts were more frequent and severe. Seth’s family and close friends report that by seventh grade other students constantly called him “queer” and “fag.” He was afraid to use the restroom or be in the boy’s locker room before gym class. One student reported that a teacher called Seth “fruity” in front of an entire class. Seth’s mother told the ACLU that her pleas for help to the school were often brushed aside. Seth’s grades eventually dropped from A’s and B’s to failing as the harassment continued. Friends say that he became depressed and withdrawn.

Seth’s story is heartbreakingly common. Verbal and physical abuse at school isolates and degrades lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. Recent studies from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and in the Journal of Adolescent Health confirm what we know about the serious harassment and safety fears that LGBT youth face. A tragic result of these factors is that LGBT youth are three times as likely to commit suicide as heterosexual youth.

[...]

Wendy Walsh’s message is clear: Students have the right to be safe and supported at school for exactly who they are. And parents deserve to know that their kids are going to school in a respectful environment where they are nurtured to reach their full potential. I think we can all agree on that.


Have You Heard About the Make It Better Project?

The Make It Better Project is supported by a host of LGBT organizations and charities, and is aimed at LGBT youth with the message that, yes, it does get better, but you don’t have to wait. There are people who want to help stop the bullying right here, right now— all you have to do is reach out to them and ask for help.

For more information, and links to resources for LGBT teens, their parents, educators and straight advocates, please click here.

Connect with the Make It Better Project:

CARE2 PETITION: Help end anti-LGBT bullying!

Already signed the Care2 petition? Thank you! Please consider forwarding it to five friends.

Don’t Suffer in Silence, Get Help!

The Trevor Project runs a 24/7 helpline with trained counselors ready to listen if you or someone you know would like to talk about the issues dealt with in this post.

The Trevor Project Helpline number is 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386).

Trevor Project Links:

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Photo taken from the ACLU video, no infringement intended.

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102 comments

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12:25PM PST on Feb 16, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

2:18PM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

hello i am looking for a quest speaker to come to my school(New Castle DE) to talk about cyberbullying. This is the topic of my senior project and my goal is to raise awarness and help prevent bullying. If you have any helpful info please email me at lacrossegirl14@yahoo.com thankyou

12:13AM PDT on Jul 19, 2011

Any school authority should be on the lookout for those cowards who pick on smaller and weaker classmates and enjoy making them miserable. Their ignorance is visible from the fact that their target is always someone "different". Schools should never belittle such a problem.

12:43PM PDT on Jul 6, 2011

There is a great need for schools to do something about bullying. I too was bullied and the fear in me was awful. I can therefore understand how this young man suffered. Surely, the schools should have monitors watching out during school breaks and not allow these things to occur. The principal should be fired because he was warned of what was going on by Seth's mother. How would he feel if it was his child in this position.

SHAME ON THOSE OF YOU, WHO IGNORED SETH AND HIS MOTHER'S PLEADING FOR HELP, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?
REMEMBER WHAT GOES AROUND COME AROUND, NEVER FORGET THIS.

7:58PM PST on Feb 3, 2011

To hear Seth's words, to hear the tears in his mother Wendy's voice, is sad beyond belief. And tragic. And unnecessary. There is plenty of blame to go around. The school officials are there to protect the children under their care. This did not have to happen.

But the real blame goes to religious leaders who preach hate so that children growing up in that "church", think that homosexuality is bad, and therefore, that it's O.K. to make fun of gay kids. The blame for this and other sorrowful events, I lay directly on their doorstep. If you believe in a god, he/she made us all, as we are. If you hate gays, you must not have any faith in your god.

The sorrow that religion causes in this world is pathetic and unnecessary. A young man with his life ahead of him, could not face one more day of the taunts at school, and so took the ultimate step. As a mother, I do not want to imagine poor Wendy's mind and heart, as she grieves. The unnecessary sadness of this, is overwhelming.

I would ask each of us to speak up for all people, all human rights, all civil rights, at every opportunity you have. Don't shy away, but stand up for those who need you. The world is only changed by one small citizen doing right, each day, every day. That is the only way things have ever changed, by us.

6:03PM PST on Dec 31, 2010

Why? Why do people hate other people for no reason whatsoever, starting when they are children? I don't get it, why? I don't think the haters and bullies know it themselves, they can only make up excuses. It's terrifying.

Seth was younger than my nephew. This is terrifying too.

12:23AM PST on Dec 23, 2010

So very tragic - Like Barbara had mentioned bully's are insecure cowards and they pick on others because they have serious self-esteem issues.

9:54AM PST on Dec 22, 2010

I signed on Oct. 5th. This is something that should never happen. Childrens learning begins at home with the parents. And the teachers should also provide a good example to their students. If children are instilled with the values they need to live a good life, then I believe there would be alot less bullying going on. My heart aches for the children who have to go through this.

2:48AM PST on Dec 22, 2010

Those of us with a narrow point of view are missing an opportunity to grow, learn, and embrace what it is to be a human being.

11:01AM PST on Dec 21, 2010

In my comment I said "Marilyn M." Correction: it is Marilyn W.

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