AP10100318806The mother of a 13-year-old boy who took his own life after being bullied for being gay is demanding that the Tehachapi Unified School District show her that administrators have a plan in place to prevent future harassment.
Wendy Walsh also filed a complaint with the Department of Education's civil rights department, asking that its officials determine why the California school district didn't take action when Walsh complained that her son, Seth, was being harassed for being gay.
"I want to keep another child from feeling helpless and hopeless and prevent another family from heartbreak," Walsh told Tehachapi News reporter Tina Forde. She may yet file a lawsuit through her American Civil Liberties Union lawyer if the school doesn't answer her demand for a written anti-harassment plan.
The DOE confirmed that the agency is investigating the incident, in the first public sign that department officials are making good on the DOE's October warning to school administrators that they will face federal scrutiny and even sanctions if they do not prevent harassment. Education Secretary Arne Duncan also told schools that anti-gay bullying is a civil rights issue, because it can be considered gender-based harassment. (Sexual orientation is not explicitly covered by existing civil rights laws.)Read More »from Parents of kids who committed suicide hold schools responsible for bullying