Father sues school for failing to prevent son’s suicide after months of homophobic bullying
Tristan Seehus took his own life after months of physical and verbal abused.
The grieving father of a boy who died by suicide after he was bullied by classmates “for being gay” is suing the school for failing to protect his son.
Tristan Seehus took his own life in February 2015, after fellow pupils at Lincoln Park Middle School made his life a “living hell” due to his perceived sexual orientation, reports the Star Tribune.
Todd Seehus, from Minnesota, claims in his law suit that the district, school board, and former and current administrators failed to properly address the bullying of his son.
The lack of response by the district amounted to discrimination against the young boy “because of his perceived sexual orientation or gender expression”, claims the suit.
Tristan Seehus was regularly called names including “freak”, told he “looks like a girl” and forced into the lockers.
While the teen did not identify as gay, his father says he didn’t “conform to traditional stereotypes of masculinity”.
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As well as damages, the suit is also seeking to ensure such incidents do not reoccur through “training programmes on homophobia and diversity”.
Lori Peterson – attorney for Todd Seehus – told the Tribune that “This should never happen, let alone to kids who are forced to interact with their tormentors in school every day.
“We hope we’ll be able to make a difference for other kids through bringing this action.”
According to his obituary, the teen will be remembered for his “warm smile, generosity, courage, wit and loving heart”.
Facebook recently made its suicide prevention tool available worldwide.
The tool had already been tested in the US and Australia and was developed in conjunction with the Samaritans earlier this year, but now has been rolled out worldwide.