A 12-year-old bullied to death after coming out as gay, the suit says the school did nothing to prevent it

A 12-year-old bullied to death after coming out as gay, the suit says the school did nothing to prevent it
Tristan Peterson. Photo: Family photo

Tristan Peterson, 12, took away his life after continuous bullying from his peers. He faced this kind of treatment as a result of coming out. Tristan’s school failed to take action against the harassment.

Victim’s story

Tristan came out as gay still in elementary school. At the time, he was a student of Elizabeth Moore School in New Jersey. Opening up about his identity only led to violence and vicious threats from his classmates. The school didn’t stop it.

Read also: A 12-year-old bullied to death after coming out as gay, the suit says the school did nothing to prevent it

Next year, Peterson went to Woodruff Middle School. There he faced further harassment, which ultimately led to his death in December 2017.

Marcy Peterson, his mother, demands justice for Tristan. She took legal action against the Upper Deerfield School District.

Call for justice

According to the lawsuit, the victim’s mother tried to reach out for help on many occasions. Peterson stated that she had contacted Woodruff not less than four times. Neither of the schools answered the complaints regarding the treatment of Tristan. The officials failed to prevent further harassment.

Read also: A violent attack on a girl that was meant to ‘fix’ her sexuality

In her complaint, Peterson addresses the situation where her son received threats from other students. It took place a few days before her son’s passing. According to the suit, a school staff member witnessed the incident. It was reported to the Woodruff School Principal Harold Hill.

Despite the report, the school is said to not have taken any measures. Just four days after, Tristan took his life at home. The Upper Deerfield School District is yet to address the situation.

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