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Video: Stop anti-gay bullying, mother of boy who committed suicide pleads

December 17, 2010 | 12:25 pm

In a tearful YouTube video, the mother of a 13-year-old boy from Tehachapi who committed suicide after enduring harassment for being gay called upon schools to stop anti-gay bullying.

The video, released Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union, shows Wendy Walsh reading her son Seth’s suicide note and is interspersed with pictures of him hanging out with friends and smiling shyly for the camera. (Warning: The video included some strong language.)

“Mom … thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure,” Walsh said, reading from the note. “I know this will bring you much pain, but I will hopefully be in a better place.”

The video ends with Walsh describing finding her son Sept. 19 hanging from a plum tree. Eight days later, doctors declared Seth brain-dead.

“Wendy wanted to get the word out about what happened to her son,” said James Gilliam, the deputy executive director for the ACLU of Southern California. “She was hoping to spread the word that there are resources for people in need.”

In a letter sent Thursday to the Tehachapi Unified School District, the ACLU demanded the district take steps to address and stop bullying students endure because of their sexual orientation.

“We hope we can work with them to craft anti-bias and anti-bullying policies,” Gilliam said. “To make sure there is a complaint process and that students like Seth know that their complaints will be taken seriously.”

Gilliam said a lawsuit against the district is not out of the question, but the ACLU hopes to work peacefully and cooperatively to address the concerns.

-- Shan Li