Mothers of Suicide Victims: 'Idaho Didn't Protect Our Children'



Arguing that the Idaho Legislature's failure to enact LGBT protections, thereby condoning discrimination and bullying, the mothers of two Idaho teenagers who committed suicide say they're prepared to sue the Gem State.

Carmen Stanger lost her 15-year old daughter on Feb. 18. Julie Zicha lost her 10-year-old son Ryan Zicha in January 2011. The mothers, both from Eastern Idaho, say their children were bullied and harassed for being gay, before taking their lives.

The Idaho State Journal reports that Stanger and Zicha are talking with other Idaho parents about joining the suit, after watching their own children being targeted for being gay.

"The state not only lacks an anti-bullying law that specifically mentions gay and transgender kids, it has no state anti-bullying law at all," wrote a news release announcing the pending suit.

Zicha told the State Journal that she has been "told by some of the kids that they do not know who they can turn to, because they have received harassment from teachers or resource officers; many teachers and administrators do not feel safe standing up to say that gay kids' lives have value and that being cruel or discriminatory is wrong because they fear retribution for doing so. This has to stop."

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK.

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