Bullying | Education | Ohio

High School Gay Basher In Chillicothe May Receive Harsher Punishment

UniotoBully2New news from Unioto High School in Chillicothe, OH, where an alleged gay bashing was recorded on a cell-phone camera.

As Andy reported on Thursday:

A student at Union-Scioto High School ... was brutally beaten this week by another student for being gay. Class members watched as the bully waited for the student to arrive in the classroom, grabbed him, pushed him to the ground and punched him in the face several times.

Originally, the incident earned the bully a mere three-day suspension, even though the victim sustained dental damage and a possible concussion. Now that the video of the beating has gone viral, Unioto principal Jim Osborne says the penalty may change. "The discipline has been revisited based on the ongoing investigation and in light of the new evidence," Osborne told the Chillicothe Gazette.

Presumably, some of the "new evidence" to which Osborne refers is the recording of the beating. Yet the principal also told the Gazette that the student who made the recording has herself been disciplined. Whether that's because she was in league with the bully, or because her surveilling has caused Unioto High so much embarassment, Mr. Osborne declined to say.

Regardless, the young documentarian's mother has temporarily removed her from school. The bully is still serving his suspension, and may face worse. According to the Gazette:

Ross County Prosecutor Matt Schmidt said he has asked the sheriff’s office to investigate further and get medical records for the victim if they exist ... The extent of the injury and the medical records are needed for Schmidt to help determine if the assault meets the criteria to be considered a felony. His office is waiting on charging the juvenile until the additional investigation is completed.

If you haven't seen it yet, you can view portions of the cell phone vid, as well as an interview with the victim's mother, AFTER THE JUMP ... 


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  1. They need to sue that school system, and that principal needs to lose his job.

    Posted by: ynot | Oct 29, 2011 9:13:07 AM

  2. I somehow missed this story earlier in the week but I'm amazed to see that this took place in Chillicothe. I spent a summer there doing a theatre show outside of town and every single person I interacted with treated me with nothing but kindness and respect. I'm appalled by the video and the student's actions but I really do not believe they're representative of the town or its people. I'm glad to see both the school and the police are taking this brutal attack seriously and hopefully, thanks to the cell phone footage, this bully and others like him will learn an invaluable lesson.

    Posted by: Adric | Oct 29, 2011 9:19:54 AM

  3. You see hoe it works? The status quo LOVES bullies -- and will do eberything possible to defned thm.

    Unless of course when bulling is put on full public display the situation becomes a p.r. nightmare in which case they're forced to walk it all back, as is happening here.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 29, 2011 9:27:34 AM

  4. get the FEDS in there....its a civil rights case and an assault case...that bully needs to go away for 10 years

    Posted by: chris | Oct 29, 2011 9:51:38 AM

  5. That's disgusting....not only that it happened in a school where there are adults supposedly "supervising" the children but that the other kids just watched as that child was getting beaten....How could the teacher not have heard the yelling and the noise of the desks being pushed around? Furthermore, how are we supposed to keep our children safe from bullying and the like when the school officials seem to be for the lack of a better word "contributors" to the behaviors...Three days suspension? Please....

    Posted by: Lauren | Oct 29, 2011 10:12:38 AM

  6. How about assault charges being filed and the defendant being tried as an adult in court? Clearly that's what happened - an adult brutally assaulted this victim. He belongs in jail, not suspended. How about the principal resigning in disgrace? How about the school being sued for being an unsafe environment?

    Posted by: Craig | Oct 29, 2011 10:30:22 AM

  7. How is this not a felony.

    The bully purposefully waited for the victim and then proceeded to pummel the kid as he first was knocked down, and then continued as he lay on the floor.

    Additionally, where the hell was the adult supervision. The principal claims that the teacher was in the hallway monitoring students as they went to class.

    As a former teacher, I somehow managed to stay at my classroom door and watch both my classroom and the hallway. This teacher did not and should be disciplined, too.

    Additionally, the principal seems to have only done a prefunctory investigation of the beating. If he really did his job, he would have soon discovered the extent of the crime, because a crime is what it is.

    What happened to zero tolerance. A kid will kid a week's suspension for bring an aspirin to school, but for bodily injury the bully gets a wrist slap.

    Posted by: Continuum | Oct 29, 2011 10:36:23 AM

  8. "The bully?' Seriously? How 'bout we start calling people like this what they are: attackers, suspects, assaulters, assailants, criminals? How 'bout stop using the words handed-down to us from a less than supportive hetero world? Words..."bullying"... that serve only to diminish the severity of the problem by lumping it in with arguably less vile and destructive behavior. Is attacking and criminally assaulting a kid cuz he's black or jewish merely "bullying." Our oppressors deserve NO such compromise.

    Posted by: jim morrison | Oct 29, 2011 10:43:17 AM

  9. I thought, according to yesterday's updates, that the "videographer" was the assailant's cousin. Is that not true?

    In any case, it's clearly someone who was in league with him since the video shows him waiting around for the victim before the attack. The school (supposedly) did not know about the video when the original 3-day suspension was handed down, so until then they only had a he said/he said account of the incident and no indication there was a confederate in the attack.

    Not that I'm defending them too much. Even the attacker's original lie had him "going off" because they "bumped elbows" in the hall. A 3 Day suspension is all you get for beating the hell of someone who bumped into you in the hall? That's BS.

    But now that HAVE the video (which I assume is clearer than the version we've seen- not blurred to prevent identification), what about the witnesses? Were they questioned about the attack? Did they lie about what happened? While I think they should have intervened I don't think you can or should punish them for not getting in the middle of a violent assault. But if they lied to protect the attacker IMO that deserves some form of punishment too.

    Based on news accounts the mother called the school to complain about "bullying" (all verbal abuse apparently) several times before this but her complaints were dismissed as "boys will be boys." I hope she documented those calls because she has a good case for going after the school district and it's only through money that these schools really learn their lesson. If you make protecting gay youth (or any other student) not just a moral imperative but the only sound financial decision things will change.

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 29, 2011 10:56:45 AM

  10. I agree with Jim Morrison on the use of the word bullying for this. I think it's good to get people to understand a broader definition of what constitutes bullying. But not when it might create a false equivalence in some people's minds that a criminal assault like this is somehow akin to name calling.

    Posted by: DaveL | Oct 29, 2011 11:05:05 AM

  11. In Bakersfield, CA, the admitted killer of Lawrence King not only can't be convicted, but is openly pitied by members of his jury, several of whom, apparently, want to "mother" him. The classmate of King's had told other classmates, in the day before the murder, he would be bringing a gun to school to kill King. That's exactly what he did, but the jury could find no "premeditation."

    In Chillicothe, OH, a principal thinks a 3-day suspension is sufficient punishment for a vicious assault against one of his students. All we really know, right now, is that a gay student was assaulted, badly enough to be hospitalized; the assailant was another student, with yet a third student waiting at the site of the assault with her cell phone camera ready to capture the assailant waiting for the victim, as well as the entire assault.

    Quit calling it "bullying." I know that's the current trend, to highlight those problems that have plagued gay youth forever.

    Language is important. "Bullying" is seen as non-physical - taunting, name calling, Facebook diatribes against someone. When a physical aspect of "bullying" is considered, it's something as innocuous as pushing someone... perhaps causing them to fall down, but nothing really... well... violent.

    The prosecution paints Larry King's murderer as merely a "bully" (Yes, I do know the murderer's name, I simply refuse to use it). He isn't a bully. He's a stone-cold murderer who's been taught a lesson: Kill a fag, and there's always an out.

    The Chillicothe principal who originally felt a 3-day suspension was sufficient punishment for a vicious assault was this assailant's "out."

    The spirit of Dan White is still steering the ship of American jurisprudence.

    Posted by: Eric Payne | Oct 29, 2011 11:07:26 AM

  12. And yeah, the word "bully" needs to go. That sounds like something out of a Little Rascals short, far too mild for this sort of attack or the sustained campaigns of intimidation and terrorism that are actually going on. "Terrorist" is a far too loaded word to use, but it's actually quite apt. They create an atmosphere of terror for their victims, to the point some choose suicide. Even when that doesn't happen the damage is profound, effecting the victims sense of themselves, academic performance (thus entire life and career), and their ability to trust and form social relationships.

    PTSD is not an exaggeration. I know that from experience, though I was never so violently attacked as the boy in this case.

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 29, 2011 11:14:49 AM

  13. Wow... so what's with the video? I'm glad it was recorded - but are these people stupid documenting their own crime? Hopefully other kids will pull out their own cellphones and record this crap with intention of using it as evidence. It's really shameful that no one came to this kids defense. I remember being bullied in Jr. High years ago. I stayed home from school in terror. My mother unbeknownst to me at the time went down to school and had me transferred to another homeroom which got me away from the bully. Of course the bully probably just found another target.

    Posted by: MikeH | Oct 29, 2011 11:28:45 AM

  14. How many other kids were in this classroom and just stood by while this was taking place?

    ~All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing~ Edmund Burke

    They should all be ashamed of themselves.

    Posted by: Laura | Oct 29, 2011 11:44:37 AM

  15. One of these days, a gaggle of pissed-off gays is gonna track down one of these thugs and unleash decades of festering rage. If it bleeds, it leads. I can't wait for *that* media hellstorm.

    Posted by: Max | Oct 29, 2011 12:30:09 PM

  16. somehow I am not heartened by this. Sure the bully may get what he deserves but how much effort did it take to get there? So what does this teach? That gay-bashing ON SCHOOL PROPERTY, even that is only serious provided extensive media coverage. Otherwise it's a proverbial slap on the wrist? Had the prosecutor been involved immediately I would be happy about this news. Whatever though.

    Posted by: ZOMG NATALIE TRAN | Oct 29, 2011 12:47:21 PM

  17. This was aggravated assault and all the witnesses are guilty of failing to report a crime in progress.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Oct 29, 2011 1:04:39 PM

  18. After all of the bulling, LGBT teen suicides and the rise of these kinds of tragedies; the Catholic press today posts an article saying that, based on science, LGBT Children are the work of Satan in the womb... (i.e. Satan's spawn??)


    How many more children must be beaten and die, before this kind of fuel is taken from the fire???

    Posted by: juan | Oct 29, 2011 1:39:50 PM

  19. "Whether that's because she was in league with the bully, or because her surveilling has caused Unioto High so much embarassment, Mr. Osborne declined to say."

    is that what reporting masquerades as on this site now? pure conjecture? maybe s/he got suspended for bringing a cell phone onto school or something like that.... yeah, i'm sure "embarrassment" is a written violation in the codebook. this is stupid.

    Posted by: Jason | Oct 29, 2011 1:53:40 PM

  20. It's sad to think that if it wasn't for some idiot posting the video online (probably to brag to their friends) nothing really would have been done about this incident. It is sickening so many students just stood by and did nothing. Considering the principal claimed he interviewed the students about the incident, I hope they get in trouble for lying. I don't understand where the teacher was. My teachers always stood by the door to monitor both the class and the hall.

    Posted by: KP | Oct 29, 2011 2:06:46 PM

  21. Sue the school and name the Principal individually for facilitation of a hate crime, so he has to go out and hire (and pay) his own attorney.

    Posted by: chasmader | Oct 29, 2011 2:44:40 PM

  22. I am the daughter of a gay man who passed away in 1990 from A.I.D.S. I am firm believer that everyone should be treated equally. Gay, straight, bia, or transgender. I live in Chillicothe my children attend Unioto and have since they started school. A week before all of this happened the victim came up and grabbed my son butt and said some very nasty things to my son I will not repeat. My son slammed this young man into a locker and told him never to touch him anywhere again. This was caught on tape and my son got a detention for shoving this boy into a locker. I am sorry, but if this was a boy doing this to girl it would have been handeled differently. When I called the school I was told there was nothing they could do. Which is a typical answer from this administration! My son was bullied relentlessly as a young child. He was once stomp on, on the play ground by three boy's they fractured one of his ribs. All these kids got was five day's out of school! Here is my point this was NOT a hate crime this other young man who was doing the assaulting was not yelling any derogatory statements nor when it was over with did he say anything about this boy's sexual orientation. I do believe that the young man who was beating down this child should pay a substantial price, but I do not believe this was a hate crime! I do not believe what was done to him was because of his sexual orientation. I do however believe the current adminstration should be FIRED they have known for years about children being bullied in the school for years, yet not one action was taken to stop this behavior. All you get from these people is "there is nothing I can do". Well now it has come full circle and bite them in the ass!

    Posted by: Chasity | Oct 29, 2011 4:52:41 PM

  23. Chastity, or whatever your name is, I don't believe a word of your meandering, run-on paragraph from hell. Back to your Bieber fever and Angry Birds.

    Posted by: CarlottaVonFunkenhowzer | Oct 29, 2011 5:33:19 PM

  24. Hi, Chastity. Welcome to Towleroad. Sorry to hear about your sons difficulties, but I beg to disagree with your assessment of the incident with gay student. If a male student tweaks a girls butt, generally nobody gets slammed into a locker. Ditto if a girl grabs a guys butt. Its inappropriate, its rude, and among adults it would (rightly) be regarded as workplace sexual harassment -- but its fairly typical behavior in buildings full of hundreds of hormone-crazed adolescents. 

    Posted by: Brandon K. Thorp | Oct 29, 2011 7:07:54 PM

  25. The child's sense of morals were instilled by his parents, you can't blame a 15 year old, someone who can be so easily manipulated, for such a crime. He was obviously influenced by someone, be it his parents or bad company.

    The right punishment would be a suspension, during that period a psychological correction facility should accommodate for his misplaced sense of morality. Also the parents need to be questioned over their son's behaviour.

    The last thing that should happen is some sort of prison sentence...

    Bullies are the real victims, they need the most help to avoid a future of being in and out of jail...

    Posted by: Justice | Oct 29, 2011 7:09:35 PM

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