Teacher’s Anti-Gay Bullying Led Student To Attempt Suicide, Lawsuit Claims

anti-gay bullying

After a teacher’s incessant anti-gay bullying pushed a South Carolina student to attempt suicide earlier this year, the boy’s parents are now suing the school district.

Identified as only “John Doe,” the student alleges Alan Ingram, a teacher at West Ashley High School in Charleston, called him “gay,” “gay boy,” “Mrs Pete,” and “Mrs Peters” in front of classmates.

A court document reads:

In early April 2013, Ingram began bullying plaintiff in class, in front of plaintiff’s classmates, by telling plaintiff’s classmates that plaintiff was ‘gay,’ and by calling plaintiff names and belittling him in the presence of his classmates. This continued on a daily basis for an extended period of time.

Ingram repeatedly told plaintiff’s classmates that plaintiff was in a homosexual relationship with another male classmate and that they were ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’. Further, Ingram encouraged and asked other students in class to pick on plaintiff as well and similarly belittle him during classes.”

John Doe’s mother says the abuse led to “emotional and psychological distress which was manifested by physical illness” and eventually led her son to try to hang himself.

Related: Gay Teen in New Mexico Commits Suicide After Years Of Bullying

He is now being home-schooled and seeking therapy, but his mother suit in August, claiming the Charleston County School District was, “grossly negligent, reckless and careless” and did not adequately supervise Ingram.s

A spokesperson for the Charleston County School District declined to comment.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.