Gay teen's suicide prompts action against bullying - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Gay teen's suicide prompts action against bullying

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A grieving family is preparing for an emotional goodbye while also hoping to raise awareness against bullying.

"It's just heartbreaking. There is no other way to say it," said Zachalyn Elizares, Brandon's mom.

Zachalyn Elizares planned to bring her family back home to Hawaii but not like this.

"It's really sad that he is not here. And he wanted to come home this summer and in a sense he did but no parent wants to be away from Hawaii and have to bring their child back like that," said Elizares.

Brandon swallowed a fatal amount of pills earlier this month.  A note left behind said it was the bullying and threats by fellow students at his El Paso Texas high school because he was gay.

"Those people didn't see what it did to him, it killed his spirit. And in this case words killed. It killed him," said Elizares.

"People will say I'm going to shoot him, I don't like him, we're going to kill him, we're going to set him on fire, we're going to blow up his house, we're going to kill him and his family, we're going to do this and that to him and destroy his whole life. And I don't understand why," said Shaquail Reed, Brandon's best friend from Texas.

Especially since she says Brandon was not a fighter and all he wanted was to fit in.

"Him being bullied, I don't even know any words to say for that because he didn't do anything to anybody at all," said Reed. "Being here in Hawaii, me and him were supposed to come out here together, I've never been to Hawaii. Now that I'm here it doesn't feel the same because he was supposed to bring me here."

The family has received a letter from their Texas Congressman Silvestre Reyes pledging to use Brandon's story to force better rules against bullying and perhaps make safe zones in schools.

"Us as parents, teachers, role models in our community, we all have to take a stand and we have to do better by our kids," said Elizares. "It's about respect. It's not about the fact that my son is gay or someone looks like this or someone looks like that, bullying in general is wrong."

The family will have a memorial walk Saturday June 22 at 5:00 at Magic Island.  The public is invited to attend and is asked to wear purple or blue.

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