The parents of a 13-year-old boy who killed himself after being bullied in his Texas school can sue the school district, a federal appeals court has ruled. Jon Carmichael hanged himself in 2010 after months of what his parents claimed was non-stop bullying at the Joshua Independent School District that included being called homophobic slurs and being stripped of his underwear in a locker room.
On June 19, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the suit could go forward, and that the abuse could be considered sexual harassment even if both the victim and tormentors were male. “I just hope this saves some other children,” Jon’s grandmother, Charlotte Carmichael, told NBC News Saturday. “He was frustrated and [school officials] didn’t do anything to help him. That’s what they’re there for — they’re there to protect children.”