CW: mention of suicide and homophobic bullying.
On Saturday, January 7, a 13-year-old boy named Lucas died by suicide in a small town in France after facing homophobic bullying at school.
Lucas, who was a student at the Louis Armand de Golbey middle school in the Vosges region, was open about his LGBTQ+ identity. After he died by suicide, prosecutors opened an investigation into harassment of a minor due to reports that he was being targetted at school.
The institution is reportedly participating in a national program to train staff members on how to identify bullying and on what the best protocol is when intervening to protect students. However, a person close to Lucas’s family, Stéphanie, claimed that the school had been made aware of the bullying, but failed to take the appropriate measures to protect him.
“He was constantly harassed for the way he dressed, his mannerisms, his presence. He didn’t hide himself and that bothered some people,” said Stéphanie. “His mother called for help many times. The school did not react”.
Valérie Dautresme, the Academic Services Director for the National Education System in the Vosges region, acknowledged that the mother of the boy who died by suicide had reported instances of homophobic bullying, namely insults, since the start of the school year at a parent-teacher meeting that happened in September.
“For us, at this point, the situation had been resolved,” she then claimed. “Lucas said that things were working themselves out and that he was no longer being insulted at school.”
Catherine Faivre, the lawyer who represents the boy’s family, said that they are considering filing a formal complaint. “There is a whole chain of people with responsibilities who can be investigated and spoken with if, in effect, the elements of an infraction can be constituted,” she added.
Lucas’s funeral is planned for Saturday, January 14 and a vigil will also be held, though the date is yet to be announced. A fundraiser to support the family has been opened online. If you wish to help, you can find it at this link.
If you have been affected by this story or are looking to reach out to someone for
support or advice or just to talk, there are numerous services available for LGBTQ+
people, listed below, and many offer instant messaging support.
Mental Health Ireland
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