15 year old Billy Lucas never told anyone he was gay at Greensburg High School in Indinanna. But that did not stop the bullies in the school from makinf his life a living hell. Only one month into the school year Billy couldn;t take it any longer and committed suicide.
“‘People would call him ‘fag’ and stuff like that, just make fun of him because he’s different basically,’ said student Dillen Swango. Students told Fox59 News it was common knowledge that children bullied Billy and from what they said, it was getting worse. Last Thursday, Billy’s mother found him dead inside their barn. He had hung himself. Students said on that same day, some students told Billy to kill himself. ‘They said stuff like ‘you’re like a piece of crap’ and ‘you don’t deserve to live.’ Different things like that. Talked about how he was gay or whatever,’ said Swango – WXTU
Friends of Billy say that he had been tormented for years. In a statement from Charles Robbins, Executive Director of the Trevor Project (Which you can read in full after the jump) “While the school district does have anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies, the policies do not specifically protect youth from harassment due to real or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression. Only eleven states in the country offer fully inclusive anti-harassment and anti-bullying education policies, and Indiana is not among them.”
Principal Phil Chapple of Greensburg High School doesn’t deny that students are bullied in the high school, but he said he didn’t know Billy was one of the victims. “We were not aware of that situation,” said Chapple. and added “What could you do that could have made a difference in his life?” But on a memorial page created in Billy’s honor many people knew students bullied him.
Perhaps if Chapple and his staff did their jobs as a disciplinarian at that school and, actually would be aware of whats going on around them and actively l;ooking out for their students instead of waiting for complaints. This might not have happened. Those bullies questioned his worth. Told him that he should kill himself. Those are violent words that extend beyond gay issues that, in themselves, aren’t acceptable in a place of learning. Principles and teachers shouldn’t be enabling bullies to participate in society in this way Those who were involved should be kicked out of that school immediately and the Principal and his staff should be investigated.
What a sad, awful, and tragic end of life. All because the school staff is ineffectual or just doesn’t care.
My heart breaks for Billy. I know what its like. But I also know if school personnel get actively involved it can be prevented.
Please visit Billy’s Facebook Page and leave a message of support.
Rest In Peace Billy.
***You can read the FULL Statement of Charles Robbins, Executive Director of the Trevor Project and watch Local WXIN’s news report after the jump.
“We are saddened to once again hear of another young person who died of suicide as a result of school bullying. Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old at Greensburg High School stood out among the 630 students in the school because he was different. Other students perceived that Billy was gay and he was relentlessly tormented as a result.
While the school district does have anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies, the policies do not specifically protect youth from harassment due to real or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression. Only eleven states in the country offer fully inclusive anti-harassment and anti-bullying education policies, and Indiana is not among them.
Currently, there is no national standard to protect all of our children from bullying and harassment at school. Yet, we know that as many as 1 in 10 sexual minority youth have been physically assaulted at school, and that when youth are threatened or get into fights, or have property stolen at school, their risk of attempting suicide more than doubles. That is why The Trevor Project supports fully inclusive federal legislation, like the Safe Schools Improvement Act currently under consideration in the Senate, to offer the protections all of our children need from torment and ridicule at school, regardless of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Only with an enforceable national standard that offers resources and support to educators and staff, no matter the size of a school district, will we be able to prevent future tragedies like Greensburg High School has experienced. The death of Billy Lucas is a tragedy, and one that might have been prevented if his school district had the support of a fully inclusive anti-harassment and anti-bullying law.”