Homophobic bullying in schools (and elsewhere) needs to be tackled urgently and firmly and it is great to see the ACLU successfully tackling this issue.
The school may not have been able to foresee the precise specifics of this incident – but their “advice” to the gay pupil suggest they could have predicted some incident and that they were adopting a view that gay pupils ask for bullying if they are open about their orientation (is that like saying a woman asks to be raped if she dresses “provocatively”).
The school are totally in the wrong, and I hope this is a catalyst to improving responsibility, equality and genuine fairness in that establishment – and acts as a warning to other schools.
I’m glad that this young man’s lawsuit was successful, but it seems to me that the school hasn’t learned from this incident.
Although it may have agreed to improve it’s anti-buliyng policies, I worry that it won’t form any specific plans to deal with homophobic bullying.
Also, the school has not admitted any wrongdoing and it claims it couldn’t have prevented the attack. Of course it could!
If they were aware of the bulliyng, and the fact they told him to tone down his homosexuality (which is bloody outragoues in itself!) suggests they were, then they could have taken action to stop the bulliyng and this particular attack may not have taken place.
It should be obvious by now that homophobia has its origins in ignorance. It is spread by ignorance, by repression, social conservatism and the alliance of church and state. It is self-evident that education leads to an understanding of the truth and that truth itself leads to freedom.
The history of homophobia in western culture is instructive. It tells us how, when we make untested assumptions, we can easily be led into error that can be very destructive, as homophobia has been. It shows us that the path to liberation isn’t through religious indoctrination but through reason and logic.
If I won the Euro-Millions jackpot of £87 Million on Tuesday, then I would bankroll people like Zach King to take schools to Court.
$30,000 is that it? Thats meant to pay to replace his teeth, for his pain and suffering, for the psychological effects on him? Not good enough it should be $30,000 and the school pay for his medical bill as well including reconstructive surgery.
I am glad that Zach got something out of that anti-gay attack although it should have been considerably more than that, and for the school to run compulsory on-going anti-bullying and pro-LGBT courses for all its teachers and pupils.
Bullying has got to stop immediately and national legislation must be put into effect to rid the schools of this social curse.
Slightly confused here.
I appreciate that the school has a certain responsibility for its duty of care, but surely the actual perpetrators of the assault are the ones that should be in court, not the school.
I don’t know where or if you ever attended a school. In the event you were home-schooled, please accept some explanatory instruction: I have attended and taught schools in both Liberia (missionary parents) and the United States, and some of my sibs and nephews and neices have taught school in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, the United States, the United Kingdom, and assorted pre and post colonial nations.
In EVERY school I’ve ever heard of, or taught at, or attended, it was and is the responsibility of the ADULTS in CHARGE at the facility to keep the children in their care safe from the environment, themselves and each other. If you re-read the column you’ve commented on, you will discover that the school was sued for their breach of that care you alluded to, and which every human culture requires in a school environment. The perpetrator also had his day in court for assault and battery, and was sentenced to a prison for juveniles.