Trevor Project executive director Charles Robbins responds to the suicides of 13-year olds Asher Brown and
Seth Walsh, 15-year-old Billy Lucas (pictured), and 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, all subjected to antigay harassment in school.
Read the statement here.
"It is true that the beginning of the school year can be especially challenging for youth. As young people struggle to establish their position among their peers and to gain popularity, they often volley for position at the expense of other students who are perceived to be different. They pick on each other, and in some cases target certain individuals for ongoing bullying and harassment. In the cases of Tyler Clementi in New Jersey, Seth Walsh in California, Billy Lucas in Indiana and Asher Brown in Texas, we know this to be true. For the seven youth in Minnesota who have taken their lives in the past year, the ongoing and unchecked harassment by their peers led to isolation and increased depression, further increasing their risk eventually leading to suicide.
"These horrific stories of youth taking their own lives reflect on school bullying culture in this country. To be clear, they do not point to a contagion of teen or youth suicide, but that the media, parents, teachers and friends are more in-tune to speaking up about the causes."