EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

May 31, 2013

Anti-bullying law changes pitched


Parents and bullied students testified Thursday the law did not go far enough to protect vulnerable children.

Hung Nguyen, of Dorchester, described himself as a proud, gay Asian whose sexuality led to bullying in school. He told committee members he was repeatedly pushed against lockers; had spitballs thrown at him on the bus; and was jumped by other students walking home from school. On one occasion, Nguyen said, all he remembers is blood streaming down his face.

Roger Bourgeois, an assistant superintendent in the Boston public schools, described the depression his son dealt with as the result of bullying. His son was bullied from the second grade until he was a junior in high school when it culminated in an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

For six months when his son was in high school, Bourgeois said he would wake up every morning and “go into his room to check to make sure he was still alive.”

Bourgeois pleaded with lawmakers to strengthen the bullying law.

Bourgeois son’s was convinced he would be better off dead because of the bullying. One day after school he told his parents “you don’t understand, I am broken and I can’t be fixed,” Bourgeois said, adding he tried to convince his son the problem could be fixed.

“He got up from table, unscrewed a light bulb from a lamp, and crushed it. Blood dripping from his hand, he looked at my wife and I and said ‘Dad, Mom, can you fix this light bulb?” Bourgeois said.

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