School staff told gay Alabama teen 'homosexuality is a choice' days before his suicide, claims devastated mother
15-year-old Nigel Shelby’s mother Camika is claiming that Huntsville High School never informed her that her son was struggling with his sexual identity
The mother of an Alabama boy who committed suicide in April after being bullied has broken her silence.
Nigel Shelby was a 15-year-old freshman at Huntsville High School in Huntsville, Alabama.
Nigel’s mother Camika Shelby has now come out saying that Huntsville school ignored the warning signs and that the administrator even told Nigel that being gay was a choice, according to NBC News.
“After my son passed, I learned that he had several discussions about homosexuality with school administrators and was told that being gay was a choice,” Camika said. “I was never contacted by the school and informed that my son was struggling with his sexual identity and regularly having discussions with a school administrator.”
A few hours after Nigel took his life, Camika stated that she received a call from the school stating that they found 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.”
She also claims that other students heard the conversations the administrator had with Nigel.
Camika revealed that lawyers for the family of Trayvon Martin, a teen who was shot dead in Sanford, Fla. in 2012 by George Zimmerman, will be the ones in charge of investigating Nigel’s death.
Benjamin Crump and Jasmine Rand, the lawyers in charge of this case, revealed in a statement, "As civil rights leaders, we have a duty to ensure all of our children are safe in school and treated with equality, and that educators address and guide children struggling with gender and racial identity issues in a positive and loving way that benefits the growth of the child."
The Huntsville City School District denied responsibility in a statement saying that they hadn't received any complaints on bullying and said that they would "work with Shelby and her attorneys to answer questions they may have and to correct any misunderstandings or misinformation, to the extent possible."
"The administrators and counselors of Huntsville High School had a close relationship with Nigel during his time at the school. They worked with Nigel to ensure that he felt at home at Huntsville High," they said in a statement.
The executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, David Johns, said at a press conference, “As educators and caring and concerned adults we are responsible for ensuring that our children are safe and supported. In too many schools and communities throughout the country, black, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same-gender loving students are harassed, bullied, and forced to endure additional stress as a result of their intersectional identities,” according to Rocket City Now, a local news station.