School Disciplines Gay Student After Homophobic Knife Threat from Roommate

A student at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg received a letter of discipline from the school for reporting that his roommate threatened him with a knife because he's gay, Fox4 Kansas City reports:

Worthley18-year-old Alex Worthley of Sedalia said his dormitory roommate threatened him with a knife because the other student didn’t like having a gay roommate.

“He was like, ‘I do have a knife and I’ll use it if I have to,’” said Worthley.

Worthley told FOX 4 that at one point he asked the roommate to turn down his music.

“And that’s when he repeated that and he was like ‘I don’t like gay people,’” Worthley said.

Worthley said he reported the threat to the Office of Student Housing. An investigator agreed to put the two students in separate dorm rooms, but Worthley said he was shocked when he received a letter of discipline just like his accuser.
“Made it feel like because I’m gay that it was my fault that those threats were made,” said Worthley.

In the letter, the school blamed Worthley for being threatened:

“There seems to be a strong possibility that some of your own actions and comments were part of the reason this situation escalated from jesting to threatening.”

Worthley said the problem could have been solved before it even began by not putting the students together. Worthley said his roommate told school officials that he didn't want a gay roommate but the school says it "does not make room assignments or reassignments based upon sexual orientation, race or other university protected status.”

It also won't comment to the news about the incident.

Watch FOX4's news report here.

Comments

  1. Rachael says

    Consistently, Towleroad posts stories about how glbt individuals are attacked or threatened. More often then not, I feel like im only getting part of the story, like this website is the same as Fox news, but from a Queer perspective. Both are a dis service as we don’t hear the facts, we get a filtered version that, in this case, provokes anger on our part.
    Im not blaming the victim in this story. The dorm mates comments are unacceptable, threatening and the two should have been split up immediately. But, is it possible that both of the students exchanged heated words with one another?
    This reminds me of that story about that kid who was thrown to the ground during Mardi Gras. We didnt hear the whole story, it was just, “look at what happened, the police are homophobes!”
    I read this blog several times a week, and im grateful it exists. Often, I learn about situations and people that need more attention, music that I enjoy and causes that need our support. All im asking for is an unbiased and factual source of information. Maybe thats not what Towleroad is intended for, maybe its just a Queer Tabloid?

  2. James in Toronto says

    @Rachael: what disturbs me more is the number of people who deny the validity of an event, as reported, because they expect everything to be both factual and proven.

    …which is not something too likely to happen outside a court of law, if then.

    Disturbing too was the ease with which the Office of Student Housing “assumed” that it must somehow take two sides to provoke an altercation. It doesn’t, you know?

    It only takes one bigot, and a victim.

  3. jjose712 says

    It doesn’t matter if both insult each other, he is not reporting that his roommate insult him, he is reporting that he threatened him with a knife.

    And it’s obvious the kind of guy his roommate is when he asked that he didn’t want a gay roommate (if you don’t want to face diversity, stay at home, bigot)

  4. C. Foley says

    If you’re being threatened with a knife by a roommate, you should bypass the University and go straight to the police. Yet, the police weren’t even involved? That and the school’s letter to Worthley show they aren’t even taking this seriously. I wonder how they would’ve reacted if he was threatening the roommate with a knife because of their race or religion. Then again, probably just as little unless the victim was white and/or Christian. Because minorities, y’all, will always get the short end of the stick.

  5. AngelaChanning says

    C Foley, hopefully law enforcement would take it seriously, especially if there are no other witnesses. Often when it is “after the fact,” they don’t want to get involved. I think when these incidents happen, it sometimes does not occur to the victim to actually call 9-1-1 for a number of reasons – fear of retaliation or not being believed, avoiding escalation, shock, or they think going to campus resources is more appropriate. A lot of folks distrust law enforcement for the very reason you stated.

  6. RJ says

    @Rachael, this is the internet. If you feel you don’t have enough information, follow the links back to the source and look for more details. Do a little work of your own.

    The Fox 4 reporter did get a look at the letter from the university which essentially accuses the gay student of instigating the incident but without actually specifying what he supposedly did that would warrant violent threats from the other student.

  7. Michael says

    They’re not trolls, Rachel has a very valid point. You can’t simply expel all guilt or suspicion because the person is LGBT. I highly doubt this person was threatened just because he asked for the music to be turned down. It’s not trolling to point out we are only getting half the story.

  8. Rexford says

    How strange that the Fox4 report on this story began with the reporter standing in front of a graphic that depicted two wedding rings and a rainbow flag unfurling.

  9. BreckR says

    It’s absolutely true that college students don’t often respect boundaries and that can lead to conflict, for any number of reasons. It’s also completely *possible* that an out and proud teenager, knowing he’s got a fundie roommate who loudly and openly hates life because he got “the gay roommate” might play up “the gay” to drive that roommate crazy. If it wasn’t that, it would be music (see the other roommate) played loudly or purposely of a genre the first roommate doesn’t like, or girls over when they know it bothers the gay roommate, or loud talking on the phone. This stuff happens in dormitories and sometimes gets absolutely ridiculous as young people learn how to live and work with people they absolutely can’t stand. But when it escalates into a threat with a weapon, the person who escalated it into violence automatically loses much of the moral high ground they may or may not have held. Even if a gay roommate was joking about crawling into bed with him while he slept, the appropriate response is to leave, find an RA and make a complaint against him, NOT pull a knife. Short of actually needing to defend yourself against an in-progress attack, whoever pulls a weapon in a verbal argument IN A SCHOOL automatically loses the high ground, period. If a roommate jokes about raping you, even, you get out, you report, and you stand your ground until you get a room change. You don’t pull out a weapon and threaten to kill them. So the idea that the gay roommate may have “instigated” it may be 100% correct(or it may not) but it’s not relevant to the fact that it does not make him “responsible” or “equally responsible” for the fact that a weapon was pulled on him.

  10. Grover Underwood says

    I don’t care if the kid danced naked on his roommate’s bed, there is no justification for the roommate to threaten him with a knife. Yes, saying you have one and you will use it is a threat.

    The kid couldn’t have called the city police since this happened on university property. The city police have no jurisdiction since the university is owned and operated by the state. I doubt the campus police would have done much except for take a report which would have promptly been ignored.

    The university’s anti-discrimination policy covers sexual orientation so he does have a way to appeal the letter.

  11. Kakiristani says

    Often we hear people complaining about political correctness serving liberal interests gone wrong , this case shows that so called political correctness can and does affect all .

  12. Bill says

    @Rachael: You wrote, “More often then not, I feel like im only getting part of the story, like this website is the same as Fox news, but from a Queer perspective.”

    Did you notice that the story originated on Fox News? Just follow the link Towleroad provided. If you think (as you seem to have indicated) that Fox News is biased against gays, then you should claim that what happened must have been far worse than what was reported.

  13. Matt says

    If this guy is really gay and not a transsexual, then why is he walking around with a female hairstyle and effectuating a woman’s voice?

    There’s no excuse for threats and the roommate needs to be disciplined. But this kid needs to get a haircut and start acting like a normal man.

  14. m says

    its lucky to get along with a roommate in a dorm. given a choice most would probably not want any roommate. there’s not a lot of privacy even if people get along.

    yeah it was stupid putting a homophobe in with a gay. what did they expect a marriage proposal? the university really is at fault. the students were forced to be in the same room. minimizing the threat was taking a chance. consider the violence at campuses all over the country. the reasons might vary but in each case the university ignored information they had in advance. this time no one got hurt.

  15. Larry says

    If there is concern this blog doesn’t offer a balance analysis of the content, then you need to consider that all media presented to you has the same distortion. There is no media that is not tainted by the presenter. Fox News ignores facts and presents the leftover truth. Other media tries to present all of the truth, but can never get it all.

    This is something you should always have known. There is a lack of critical analysis in the readership.

    I’m shocked that someone is worried Towleroad isn’t balanced enough. I’d like someone to mention a source that is balanced.

  16. Jean Luc says

    Rachel asks for the whole story and she gets called a troll and even a c*nt? She is absolutely correct. From time to time the material on this site is true journalism, but unfortunately as of late it’s mostly tabloid quality. The problem with that is that gays actually are smart enough to form opinions for themselves. Andy seems to think that leaving out unflattering details and calling as many people as possible a homophobe that he’s doing the LGBT community a favor.

    There’s nothing wrong with gay news, but if you’re going to give us news, give us all the news. We’re all gay, we know how bitchy we can all get. If someone who knows no gay person spent a day reading this site, they might truly believe no LGBT has ever done anything wrong in the history of the world…

  17. says

    Wow, a bunch of posters spending paragraphs blaming the victim, while squeaking in some ‘well no one should have a knife pulled on them… BUT…’ That’s just darling.

    If people are thinking that Towleroad isn’t giving enough information, then why aren’t they doing the additional research themselves? If there’s ‘more to the story’ then they should post it here so Andy can offer a follow-up with that missing information.

  18. chuckie says

    @Matt
    Seriously? It’s only okay to be gay if you act a certain way? Your application has been denied. Get ye back to hetero world. Oh, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass (too hard) on your way out.

  19. Fenrox says

    @Rachael, it’s stupid and dangerous to trust any one source of news. You get a taste here and if you are interested you can look into it and read other stories and articles. Your comment only makes sense if you refuse to look to other news sources and instead decide that each one has to be 100% amazing and complete.

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