Hundreds of parents, students and community members in the Hamptons are expected to attend a meeting tonight regarding the recent suicide of 16-year-old David Hernandez Barros.
The East Hampton High School student had reportedly been a victim of anti-gay bullying before his death—and had even attended a Gay Straight Alliance meeting just days before taking his own life on September 29.
The meeting was organized by Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY) to give the community a chance to remember David and “chart a course forward to combat the isolation” that LGBT youth face.
Though David’s sexuality was not known at the time of his death, LIGALY director David Kilmnick told Patch that “it really shouldn’t matter at this point.”
He’s also careful not to point blame in any one direction: “When issues of bullying arise, people are quick to look for blame. Many times, right or wrong, schools bear the brunt of this blame,” Kilmnick says. “The East Hampton School District is a model for what schools should be doing to address anti-GLBT bullying. However, schools cannot do this alone, and we are bringing the East End community together to make sure that going forward, teens like David Hernandez have a local GLBT Center than can go to as a safe haven.”