And just as we’re saying goodbye to eighth-grader Asher Brown, who shot himself in the head after enduring anti-gay bullying at school, comes word fellow 13-year-old Seth Walsh died after 10 days on life support following a hanging attempt.
The Tehachapi, California teen spent the last few years being tormented by classmates at Jacobsen Middle School. He made it only two weeks into the current school year before being transferred to an independent study program.
Last Sunday, Sept. 19, he was found unconscious and not breathing after apparently trying to hang himself from a tree branch. He was airlifted to a local hospital, where he remained on life support until this afternoon, where he died surrounded by family. He leaves behind his grandmother Judy Walsh, mother Wendy Walsh, and three siblings, ages 11, 17, and 18. Police, meanwhile, say they cannot prosecute any of the kids responsible for his torment, since school bullying is not a crime. (“Several of the kids that we talked to broke down into tears,” says Tehachapi Police Chief Jeff Kermode. “They had never expected an outcome such as this.”)
His death follows Brown’s suicide in Texas, and 15-year-old Billy Lucas in Indiana. Like Walsh, Lucas hanged himself after enduring relentless teasing and torment inside the walls of his school.
There will be a memorial service on Friday at 3:30pm at the Tehachapi First Baptist Church.
Go tell your sons and daughters, your brothers and sisters, your friends … that you love them. And then tell Kevin Jennings, President’s Obama always-silent safe school czar and the founder of GLSEN, to start speaking the fuck up.
[Above, a YouTube tribute to Seth from what appears to be his sister. It includes the caption, "He wonderful this picture is because he's so happy :) I am too because I know he will be back. ... He will wake up we all know it."]