following an onslaught of bullying at school, his mother said she finally feels as though she can almost breathe again, now that the civil litigation against her child’s school district has been settled.

Camika Shelby and Patrick Cruz, the parents of 15-year-old Nigel Shelby, settled a civil lawsuit against the Huntsville City Board of Education and the high school’s then-freshman principal, Jo Stafford in March. In her first interview since the settlement, Shelby said she now wants to focus on keeping the memory of her only child alive.

“Nigel was loved at home, but that wasn’t enough, obviously,” Shelby said. “I just want kids of the LGBTQ community, Black kids, all kids really to be able to go to school and feel comfortable and not feel closed in, alone, alienated.”