R.I.P. Billy Lucas, 15

Maybe some of my male readers can explain the dynamics that drive this kind of extreme bullying. Did you see this when you were a kid? Take part in it? Stand up against it? Get the hell away and hoped no one would pick on you?

Another dead victim of anti-gay bullying, this time in Indiana.

He was a teenager who didn’t quite fit in. His classmates said Billy Lucas was bullied for being different. The 15-year-old never told anyone he was gay but students at Greensburg High School thought he was and so they picked on him. “People would call him ‘fag’ and stuff like that, just make fun of him because he’s different basically,” said student Dillen Swango. Students told Fox59 News it was common knowledge that children bullied Billy and from what they said, it was getting worse. Last Thursday, Billy’s mother found him dead inside their barn. He had hung himself. Students said on that same day, some students told Billy to kill himself. “They said stuff like ‘you’re like a piece of crap’ and ‘you don’t deserve to live.’ Different things like that. Talked about how he was gay or whatever,” said Swango.

School administrators claim to have had no knowledge of the bullying, despite many students saying that they were aware of Billy’s torment. A memorial Facebook page for Billy can be found here. Indiana does not include gay youth in its anti-bullying laws, no doubt thanks to repulsive Christianist groups like Focus On The Family.

11 thoughts on “R.I.P. Billy Lucas, 15

  1. My kid’s junior high is having their annual start-of-the-year anti-bullying assembly today. I know my school district makes the right noises about bullying. I’ve heard from another mother, who thought her kid was being mistreated, that the school does follow-up in some fashion.

    But, in the end, our culture loves bullies (as anyone who has ever been in the paid workforce can attest). So I’m not all that sanguine about the school’s efforts.

  2. My nephew, who is disabled (autism) has been bullied for years. And my sister is very, very pro-active in dealing with documenting the incidents, following up, etc.

    Her school system reports that they have had no incidents of bullying for several years now. In fact, there have been almost no reported incidents of bullying in the entire state of Virginia. Magic, right? Well, what’s happening is that the school is refusing to characterize what’s happening to my nephew — and I’m sure other kids — as bullying; if they did characterize it as bullying, they’d have to do something about it. So they just pretend it’s not bullying and instead counsel the kid on making himself less of a target.

  3. So they just pretend it’s not bullying and instead counsel the kid on making himself less of a target.

    Right… because it’s so easy to change what makes you different from the other kids. Don’t wear your glasses, start talking non-stop, stop stuttering,… whatever

    Zuzu, I feel for your nephew. I’ve always stuttered and was the object of bullying not only at school but by neighborhood kids and adults. Remember the ending scene of A Fish Named Wanda? I loved that the guy steamrolls his torturer. It was a great bit of emotional release.

  4. Junior High was the worst. Something about that age cohort that promotes endemic pecking order behavior. You either go off on your tormentors, teaching them to back off, or suffer interminably. Many indigenous societies sequester males of that age in so-called men’s houses under constant adult supervision until they’re socialized. And as far as teachers not knowing . . . bullshit.

  5. This is a sad article in more than one way. Im a gay guy myself and I cant help but to feel upset about this. Its a shame that this is still happening, I mean dont we have more important things on our hands like the oil spill, our embarrassing economic conditions, the fact the Sarah Palin may run for president. No, people focus on the simplistic and not anything that they can’t wrap their minds around. In another sense this article makes me angry. In all my knowledge and experience both guys and girls picked on me about my orientation so for the writer of this to single out males as more of a bully then females is not only inappropriate but ignorant as well. Perhaps that person didn’t grow up the same way I did but its a 50/50 thing.

  6. I guess I didn’t know that because I went to an all-girls Catholic school, and all-female harrassment has a slightly different feel to it.

  7. I am a 49 year old female who was bullied by a girl in Junior High from grade 7 to grade 8. This went on in the hallways and I know teachers, etc. noticed and did NOTHING! I wanted to change my school but back then it wasn’t as easy. My sister tried to help with no results…She was two grades ahead of me. I dreaded everyday there. I finally got bold enough to call her at her own game and challenge her to a fight…. She didn’t show and I had witnesses.. That was the last time she ever harassed me!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I feel so bad for Billy Lucas. Where was everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe no one in the school didn’t know about it. I wished he could have just called them a bunch of jerk (being nice) and stood up to them. My heart is heavy with the thought of what he went through mentally.

  8. 50, Straight man, kinda skinny and geeky @ that age in a med sized town. Yeah, bullied by one huge prick at school in 7th grade; 2 guys a few years older @ home for a few years. Got beaten black and blue in 9th grade; pissed blood for a week. Then I grew, spent a summer swinging a pick and shovel and the next time I fought back as ferociously as I could instead of just trying to protect myself. I got suspended for 3 days, but I don’t really blame the school. I snapped and really hurt the guy, had to be dragged off of him still bashing his face with one hand twisted in his long hair. I almost felt sorry for him myself. Whatever it was, word getting around or how I carried myself after, it was over.

    Whoever you are, there’s a way to stand up for yourself; find it.

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