Lawsuit (267817)

The family of an openly gay Huntsville City Schools student who took his own life in 2019, has announced plans to sue the school system for civil rights violations and wrongful death, according to a news release Monday, reports AL.com.

Shelby was 14 when he died on April 18, 2019. His family said that Shelby took his own life because of being bullied because of his sexual orientation as well as depression.

“Fourteen-year-old Nigel Shelby was bullied by his peers for his race and sexual orientation, and when he sought help from school administrators, was told that his sexuality was his choice,” the news release said Monday. “School administrators did not alert Nigel’s parents of his struggles in school so that he could receive help from a licensed mental health professional. On April 18, 2019, Nigel Shelby died by suicide. Following his death, school administrators alerted Nigel’s mother to look for a suicide note in his backpack, revealing that they were aware of his plans to take his own life.”