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WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 23, 2012, 10:07 PM

West Fargo student to participate in National School Safety Summit

West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A West Fargo teenager is turning his tragedy into greater good at schools around the country. The high school freshman leaves tomorrow for a national safety summit.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

A West Fargo teenager is turning his tragedy into greater good at schools around the country. The high school freshman leaves tomorrow for a national safety summit. He'll share his heartache to change lives. Not often do we hear of children coming out. This brave boy did just that and is using his past to impact the future.

Jeremy Brown – West Fargo Student: “I want to be known for trying to make a difference.”

Jeremy Brown isn't your ordinary child. The 15 year-old has been through more than most of us can imagine.

Jeremy Brown: “I know what it's like to feel kind of alone and not really know where to turn or who to talk to about it.”

The West Fargo student has been harassed in the halls.

Jeremy Brown: “It started with just basic name calling.”

Even worse, living in the small town of Binford.

Jeremy Brown: “A man threatened to kill me at a football game because I was gay.”

Brown is turning those experiences into hope. He'll represent North Dakota at a safe schools advocacy summit in Washington. There, the teenager will lobby lawmakers for stricter laws.

Jeremy Brown: “It's just for anybody, because everybody should feel safe at school.”

Terri Brown – Jeremy’s Mother: “He is the same person he was before they knew he was gay and they loved him then. Why don't they love him now?”

Brown's mother, Terri, knows all too well what a toll harassment can take on someone. Three out of her four children are gay. Thursday marked the one year anniversary that her lesbian daughter killed herself.

Terri Brown: “He's standing up for himself and he's standing up for the people that can't stand up for themselves.”

The days since have been difficult. Now, Brown is stepping forward again. This time to build a bridge to end harassment in hopes of sparing others the pain he's felt, and possibly save a life in the process.

Jeremy Brown: “Just bring awareness to people that just because someone's a little bit different doesn't mean that they're still not the amazing person they are inside.”

About 40 people are going to the three day summit, hosted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.

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