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Parents of teen who committed suicide sue school, district

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The boy's mother files a federal lawsuit against a Texas school district
  • She says the staff failed to protect Asher Brown, 13
  • Asher had told his mother and stepfather that he was taunted, they claim

(CNN) -- The mother of a Texas teenager who committed suicide last year filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday, arguing the school he attended did nothing after receiving complaints he was being bullied.

Asher Brown, 13, an eighth-grader at Hamilton Middle School, shot himself to death at home last fall.

Amy Truong, Asher's mother, also names Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in the lawsuit. She argues the middle school staff witnessed some incidents of bullying, physical assaults and name-calling against her son. Despite a policy on bullying and harassment, the suit states, district personnel "had an actual practice and custom of looking the other way."

Last year, Truong and the boy's stepfather told CNN's Anderson Cooper that Asher was bullied because he was small, did not wear fashionable clothing and was a Buddhist. They also said Asher told them he was gay and had received taunts about his sexuality.

The school district had no immediate reaction Tuesday. According to the lawsuit, it has stated there was no evidence of any bullying or complaints filed on behalf of Asher. But the lawsuit says his stepfather, David Truong, went to the school district to talk about Asher being bullied.

The Truongs said they are lobbying the Texas Legislature for anti-bullying reform legislation, according to CNN affiliate KPRC.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages and asks that the school adopt a policy known as "Asher's Rule" in which students can confidentially report bullying and harassment.