A photo of an 11-year-old Texan
protesting the students who torment him and the school district that
stands idly by has gone viral on social media.
Jesus Franco's mother, Vanessa
Tijerina-Arguelles posted the photo on Facebook on Friday along with
the hashtag #NOH8. As of Sunday morning, the
photo had been shared nearly 100,000 times.
The image shows Jesus with the NOH8
slogan written on one cheek. He tells his story through two printed
pages he's holding.
"HELLO! I'M JESUS (JESSE) FRANCO.
I'M NOT GAY. STILL, I GET CALLED GAY
AND FAGGOT AT MY SCHOOL, EVERY DAY. RAYMONDVILLE
(TX) INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT DOES NOTHING. MY PARENTS &
I HAVE TRIED 2 GET THEM 2 DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. THE LAST TIME
I WAS ATTACKED, I GOT 2 DAYS OUT OF SCHOOL SUSPENSION FOR
OVERCOMING THE BULLY, DEFENDING MYSELF. PARENTS OF THESE KIDS ARE
BULLIES 2. MAYBE THAT'S WHY THE SCHOOL DOESN'T ACT & THE KIDS(S)
DON'T STOP? PLEASE SHARE
SO OTHER KIDS, LIKE ME, CAN SEE THEY ARE NOT ALONE. THE SCHOOL MAY
VIOLATE MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND MY RIGHT TO (SILENT) PROTEST; THEY
HAVE GIVEN ME NO CHOICE, NO HELP. THANK YOU. NO H8."
In posting the photo,
Tijerina-Arguelles described Raymondville school district as
“He has a learning disability,” she
blog Towleroad. “He just has trouble socially and with new
concepts and surprising circumstances, such as being bully-ambushed.”
She also explained that the protest was
“He got [to school] and only one girl
knew what [NOH8] was about. Teachers asked him, Is that gang
related?' He said, 'No, I support gays and their rights.' So proud
of my boy,” Tijerina-Arguelles said.
The district's superintendent, Johnny
I. Pineda, has not commented on Jesus' protest.