The mother of 15-year-old Nigel Shelby, who committed suicide in April because of homophobic bullying, is calling an investigation of her sons death, alleging that the administrators of Huntsville High School had an influence on his mental health.
What We Know:
- Camika Shelby released a statement through the National Black Justice Coalition.
- In the statement, she said her son talked with administrators about his sexual identity regularly and was told that his sexuality was a choice. According to the Center for Social Equity, 74 percent of LGBTQ youth say they don’t feel safe at school.
- Shelby added, “Several hours after my son died, a school administrator called me and told me to look for a suicide note in his backpack. People at his school knew that [he] planned to take his own life. I need to find out who knew and why nobody told me until after he died.”
- In the note, Nigel wrote about trying to be “normal” and the kids calling him hurtful names. It also said that he hopes the world isn’t so cruel in the afterlife.
- Huntsville City Schools issued a statement in response to Shelby’s complaint in which they expressed their grief by Nigel’s passing and that administrators did their best to ensure that he felt safe at school. In addition to partnering up with programs like GLSEN to incorporate some practices to better train administrators and faculty.
Shelby called on attorneys Benjamin Crump and Jasmine Rand, who also represented the family of Trayvon Martin, to take on the investigation
If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, contact The Trevor Project’s TrevorLifeline 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. Counseling is also available 24/7/365 via chat every day at TheTrevorProject.org/help or by texting 678-678.