A student at Union-Scioto High School in Chillicothe, Ohio 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.
The bully had harassed the gay student (who has not been identified) on Facebook a few days earlier, writing, as the comment on a photo of him: "You fag. Check out the definition of a fag."
According to an email received by Towleroad from Equality Ohio, "The victim has suffered a possible concussion and dental damage. The attacker was suspended from school for just three days. "
Watch the video and hear the gay student's mother narrate the events, AFTER THE JUMP...
Equality Ohio adds:
"Union-Scioto has no policy in place that specifically protects students from being bullied or attacked based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The Union-Scioto Local School District does have a policy that prohibits harassment based on sex, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, among oth"ers, but it does not specifically protect against harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Equality Ohio Executive Director, Ed Mullen, explains that the incident serves as a reminder that Ohio’s anti-bullying law must be strengthened and specific protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth be included. Mullen says: “All students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, have the right to a safe school and education. Students should not fear verbal harassment, cyber-bullying, or physical assault in our public schools.”
An anti-bullying bill is pending in Ohio's legislature. Ohio House Bill 208 would add sexual orientation, gender identity, and other enumerated protections to Ohio’s anti-bullying law without changing the general prohibition against any bullying or harassment. Proponents of the bill are seeking testimony in the House Education Committee, according to Equality Ohio, but the bill has not been a priority of the committee.
Watch this disturbing event, AFTER THE JUMP...
UPDATE: READ THE UPDATE TO THIS STORY HERE.
Some contact info, via Dan Savage:
Union-Scioto Local Schools District Administration:
Superintendent: Dwight Garrett firstname.lastname@example.org
High School Principal: James Osborne email@example.com
Unioto High School Asst. Principal: Wilma Gillott firstname.lastname@example.org
1565 Egypt Pike
Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
Unioto High School
14193 Pleasant Valley Road
Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT IS THE AGENCY HANDLING THIS CASE. CONTACT THEM @ (740) 773-1185. PROSECUTORS OFFICE (740) 702-3115