Galliano Parents Say Bullying led to Son’s Suicide

teen+bullied+01GALLIANO, La. — The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a Galliano teenager Garyn Strong, 15, who apparently took his own life. His parents, Thad and Maureen Strong, said bullies tormented their son for the past four years. “They took away my buddy, my fishing partner, my hunting partner, my son,” said Thad Strong. “The bullying needs to stop,” said Maureen Strong. “It’s an epidemic that’s not just local or national, it’s worldwide.” Thad said he found Garyn’s lifeless body in the family kitchen Friday night. “I found him hanging and I cut him down. I didn’t know what to do.” Maureen said Garyn opened up about the bullying just six months ago. She said the bullies said hateful and cruel things to her son.
“There were gay slurs and they were calling him gay names and he would say if I would be gay, he said I don’t care, but he didn’t approve of them calling him something that he wasn’t. They would call him fat.”
The Strongs say they brought the bullying to the attention of officials at South Lafourche High School where their son attended classes. School officials were not available to comment on Monday because of the Martin Luther King holiday.
“This boy kept saying I’m going to beat you down, I’m going to beat you down,” said Thad Strong. “He couldn’t go no where. He couldn’t do nothing.”
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office confirms it is conducting an investigation into the bullying allegations.
The Strongs say those who bullied their son need to be stopped.
“Garyn’s gone,” said Maureen Strong. “They are going to go on to somebody else and we don’t want that to happen.”
The Strongs say they would like to set up a foundation in Garyn’s name to teach parents and young people about the consequences of bullying.
“If their grades start dropping quick and they just keep on saying I hate school, I hate school, I hate school, they’re something going wrong in that school,” said Thad Strong.
“One word that’s inappropriate can crush somebody’s soul,” said Maureen Strong.
Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Posted on January 20, 2014 at 6:37 PM
Updated today at 4:03 PM

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