HOUSTON – A local mom and stepdad say their 13-year-old son committed suicide because of ruthless bullying at his junior high school.
Asher Brown killed himself last Thursday.
His mother, Amy Truong, said her son recently realized that he was gay. She said that, along with his religion, made him a target for bullies at Hamilton Junior High.
"They would insult him because he was Buddhist, and they would call him ‘booty boy’ and try to link the two together between Buddhism and homosexuality," Truong said.
Truong and her husband, David, said Brown endured verbal and physical abuse.
They said they tried to contact the school about the bullying, but their cries fell on deaf ears.
Amy and David Truong believe Brown as literally pushed to the edge.
"This bully, we can’t say his name, deliberately tripped Asher down … two flights of stairs," David Truong said.
According to other students, Brown told the bully, "You better apologize, or I’m gonna kill myself."
Those words haunt his parents.
Amy and David Truong said they always thought their son would come to them when something was wrong.
"We’re still trying to piece together everything that happened to him that we didn’t know before," Amy Truong said.
Meanwhile, they’re speaking out about the consequences of bullying.
They say actions that could be brushed off as a childhood rite of passage can sometimes have tragic consequences.
"These kids don’t deserve this, they don’t. And I can’t do anything to save mine anymore, but if I can help somebody else, I want to. I know Asher would want to. He was a good boy. He was such a good boy," Amy Truong said.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD said the district’s counseling and psychological teams would be expanding crisis services for students at Hamilton.
"The district, together with the Hamilton community, is saddened by the death of Asher Brown," the statement read. "A district administrative team is conducting a thorough and involved investigation into the allegations of bullying that have been made since the death of Asher Brown. Although the investigation is not completed, the initial findings indicate that Asher’s personal and family histories were very complicated."