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Another Gay Kid Tormented By Classmates. Another Lawsuit to Force the School to Protect Him

jacob1

Does the story of 14-year-old Jacob sound familiar? He was harassed relentlessly by fellow students at his school because of his sexuality and appearance — to the point where another student brought a knife, and death threats, to school. “Beginning in the seventh grade and continuing through Jacob’s eighth grade year (in Herkimer County, outside Utica, N.Y.), numerous students relentlessly harassed Jacob because he is gay, dyes his hair, wears eye makeup and speaks in a high-pitched voice. He endured a range of slurs, such as faggot, queer and homo, on a daily basis, occasionally with teachers present. Indeed at least one teacher contributed to this climate of harassment by telling Jacob he should be ashamed of himself for being gay.” And the increasingly familiar part of this story? The ACLU is stepping in and suing the school district for not adequately protecting Jacob.

By:           editor editor
On:           Aug 19, 2009
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 39 Comments
    • Michael
      Michael

      This is seriously sad. I’ve been out in high school in Georgia for three years now, and I know firsthand how much it sucks to have to deal with this kind of discrimination. The daily name calling and occasional physical harassment can really start to take a toll if you don’t have the friends to back you up. I just hope he ends up okay :/

      Aug 19, 2009 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      Sure he’s not freindless just because he’s gay?….

      Aug 19, 2009 at 7:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      Latest bullying case I heard was 4 gays going after the new jock who just moved to the neighborhood and wasn’t going to put out for them at school..their threatening lawsuits too…

      Aug 19, 2009 at 7:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @alan brickman:

      If that’s your idea of a joke, you are not a well person and seriously need some psychiatric help.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Erasure25
      Erasure25

      @schlukitz: He needs an education in addition to that psychiatric help. (re: their, there, and they’re)

      Aug 19, 2009 at 8:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • unclemike
      unclemike

      @alan brickman: Provide a link, or else it’s just a figment of your diseased & damaged psyche.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 8:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dennis
      Dennis

      @alan brickman:
      WTF? What kind of moron are you? See, if you’re gay yourself, the human and compassionate response is to be AGAINST anti-gay bullying, and have some sympathy for poor youth who still have to endure this bullshit.

      You win the coveted “Douche of the Day” award on Queerty. Congrats!

      Aug 19, 2009 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Popsnap
      Popsnap

      Im a Junior in Northeast Ohio and have never once been bullied because of my sexual orientation.We even have two openly gay teachers at my school, and I know several other GLB teens here. I’ve been talking with my lesbian friend about starting a GSA in our Senior year, as a matter of fact, especially after meeting 2 freshmen (1 gay, 1 bi) at band camp this year. They were both nervous about coming to high school and I promised them they’d have no problems, maybe a comment here or there behind their backs at absolute worst.

      Im curious as to where he lives? I’d like to imagine that this kind of hateful nonesense only happens in the South, but I might be wrong, and/or REALLY fucking lucky.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 11:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Popsnap
      Popsnap

      Okay I looked it up, apparently its in a very small town in hickville, New York- with 2,000 people.

      Slightly more reasurring. If it were an upper middle class high school like mine I’d have been shocked and (even more) horrified.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohawk,_Herkimer_County,_New_York

      Aug 19, 2009 at 11:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      @Popsnap: Is it true what they say goes on at band camp?

      Aug 20, 2009 at 12:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Popsnap
      Popsnap

      @Merv:

      Not in this case. Freshmen are annoying :O

      Aug 20, 2009 at 12:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey

      … so a few years back, my sister called to tell me that at my nephews middle school, the F word was running rampant and the bullies basically picked a different kid each week to taunt. My nephew became one of the targets…I told her about how SO MANY kids parents sued AND WON when the school failed to stopped such behavior. She marched in to the principal and said to him… “if you don’t stop this I will sue and I will win…like all the other parents who have sued and won, go google it!” He put a stop to it…though I have no idea if this was just a one shot deal or a change in “policy.”

      Aug 20, 2009 at 6:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      Queerty should hire Team Olson-Boies to take this case, since they seem so confident that the gay legal groups – like the ACLU, Lambda and NCLR – are so terrible at defending gay rights.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 7:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      @Popsnap: OMG! I know! Don’t the poors totally suck? And the rurals? Even worse!

      This would totally never happen in a northern, suburban, upper middle class school like the ones you have there in Northeastern Ohio, where you just get a generally better sort of student.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 7:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ricky Fitz
      Ricky Fitz

      Really? High school students can be cruel? Really? Speaking in a high-pitched voice and wearing eye makeup is a failsafe way to be made fun of?

      This boy needs a strong does of common fucking sense. I’m obviously all for creating a safe learning environment for all students, but such dreams are lofty at best. Suing a school district for something that isn’t completely in their control isn’t going to stop the harrassment. Maybe losing the fucking makeup will.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 7:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kelehe
      kelehe

      @Ricky Fitz: Well I guess if that is the standing logic, there are a greater number of “rule enforcers” in the school than in society at large, proportionally speaking, if they can’t do anything about it in that environment, then harassment/abuse in the world should be the responsibility of the victim to change by altering their behavior to conform in a way that is more acceptable. After all it’s just common sense, right?

      Aug 20, 2009 at 8:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Sue the pants off the school and the teachers. And then sue each and every kid who teased him. Don’t leave their parents out, either. Parents teach their kids homophobia – it’s a well known fact.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      It is NOT a natural environment for a kid in school to be teased mercilessly. It stunts his learning, it causes him depression, and it leads to a general withdrawal from society. This isn’t just one-on-one stuff, it’s gang stuff.

      To those who say it’s healthy to be teased, fuck off. You are truly pathetic. Put your own kids in the line of merciless teasing and then we’ll see what you think.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 9:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      @Ricky Fitz: And those damn women were just asking to be raped, wearing those slutty dresses. Come on ladies, use some common sense! How can you expect to not get raped if you won’t wear your burqas?

      It is never acceptable for a teacher to witness gay harassment and do nothing. Even worse to tell a kid he should be “ashamed” of being gay. Way to blame the victim, douche.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 10:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @Ricky Fitz:

      Gee, if only they had beaten that little queer up to within an inch of his life, maybe you’d be getting a nice, warm glow in your crotch? *sarcasm intended*

      This boy needs a strong does of common fucking sense.

      And maybe what you need, is a strong dose of what that poor kid has been getting to help you gain some understanding and empathy for the pain and suffering of others.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 12:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • boring
      boring

      @Ricky Fitz: Err, no. I was teased in middle and high school for being gay. I wasn’t out, I didn’t wear makeup, or practice any other gender non-conforming habits of dress or behavior, and I’ve never modulated my voice to sound any other way than it does naturally (I don’t think this kid was either). Bullies figure out who’s different regardless of how subtle or obvious the clues are. Common sense says don’t blame the victim; unless you base your logic on bigotry.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 12:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      @Ricky Fitz: then maybe school uniforms and total conformity to the will of the administration, no wait, that’s Nazi germany I’m thinkin’ of. Teenage years are the years when people express their individuality and rebel against authority, parental or otherwise. To quash that individualist tendency and create another ‘High School Clone’ just cuz you don’t want to be teased? Well I think the benefits of being yourself far outweigh the risks.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 1:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kropotkin
      Kropotkin

      “I’d like to imagine that this kind of hateful nonesense only happens in the South, but I might be wrong, and/or REALLY fucking lucky.”

      You are really lucky, but at least you were able to consider that possibility. It’s not all rainbows and schools that encourage gay kids going to proms out there.

      And it’s clear that a lot of other commenters here have no empathy and have never been bullied. Perhaps they were bullies themselves?

      Aug 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • smbitches
      smbitches

      @Ricky Fitz: You’re a fucking idiotic asshole!! So I guess he was just asking for it, right? So that means Matthew Shepard was asking for it, rape victims that wear short shirts are asking for it, or people who get their BMWs car-jacked are asking for it? I think someone should knock some fucking sense into your close-minded head. After all, with that comment of yours, you’re asking for it too, motherfucker. If you had a gay child, would you encourage him to be something he’s not, just to avoid what some close-minded assholes think? Wait, you probably would. You need a good bitch slap.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      the five guys who harrassed me in school were all gay closet cases…gays bully gays..it just that simple..

      Aug 20, 2009 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retarded Obsession
      Retarded Obsession

      ok, Im not gay myself, but still, its so sad that people make fun of gay, bi’s, lesbians and transenders because their so fucking insecure with themselves.
      Its pathetic really, he didnt choose to be gay, he just is. Thats his fucking awesome personality.
      And to the people who are telling him to stop wearing the eye make up- i say go ahead, wear it, Because its who you are!!!!!
      I reckon we need to stop being so fucking critical all the time, it doesnt benefit anyone.
      And this is from someone on New Zealand so yeah!!!!!

      Aug 20, 2009 at 7:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @alan brickman:

      the five guys who harrassed me in school were all gay closet cases…gays bully gays..it just that simple..

      Oh puleeeeeze! That’s as lame as saying that all the gay victims of bashings and murders are actually harassed and attacked by gay closet cases and not straight homophobes. You’re reaching.

      And, even if by some stretch of the imagination we could believe what you say, how does that justify you condemning this innocent kid and making him responsible for the harassment he has to put up with, not only from his classmates, but a homophobic teacher as well?

      Making the victim of homophobia and harassment is just flat-out wrong and only serves to encourage and enable the haters who perpetrate the harassment, abuse and violence. Is that all you learned out of your own personal experience?

      If it it…then what happened to you was a total waste because YOU choose to turn your experience into an excuse to continue the vicious cycle of bigotry and hatred.

      It’s a well-known fact, that parents who were beaten as children, even though they know it is wrong, often grow-up to become child-beaters themselves and need to undergo therapy to escape that horrible cycle that gets repeated over and over.

      If what you are claiming is, indeed, true, then you should avail yourself of therapy. You owe it to yourself…and to the innocent victims whom you will continue to blame and verbally abuse if you do not get help.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 8:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      @alan brickman: lies and bullshit.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 8:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • prissysissy
      prissysissy

      @alan brickman: The only thing simple here is your intelligence.

      Aug 20, 2009 at 9:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ricky Fitz
      Ricky Fitz

      @Sam:
      @edgyguy1426:
      @smbitches:

      It’s funny how when confronted with opinions that they find offensive, a lot of people will compare it to the greatest evil they can think of, instead of thinking. Nazis, or Muslims(which I suppose are the new nazis?).

      Any time you single yourself out , you’ll be made fun of. You go to school in the wrong clothes, you’ll be made fun of. If you join marching band, you’ll be made fun of. If you’re a guy wearing eye make up to school, you’re making the effort to single yourself out.

      Difference=bullying almost 100% of the time. Sad but true.

      The teachers who facilitated the bullying should be fired ASAP. But suing the school won’t do a fucking thing to change the kid’s attitudes, or the fact that highschoolers are homophobic.

      Try not putting a bulls eye on your back.

      Aug 21, 2009 at 8:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @Ricky Fitz:

      Try not putting a bulls eye on your back.

      Yes. And people like you would tell a Jewish male not to wear a yarmulke, lest they make a target of themselves.

      But suing the school won’t do a fucking thing to change the kid’s attitudes, or the fact that highschoolers are homophobic.

      Ah yes. Homophobia. Another time-honored and cherished “tradition”, like marriage, that we must do everything in our power to preserve.

      People will make fun of you, simply for joining a marching band?
      You gotta be kidding? What fucking closet are you living in?

      Straighten Up and Fly Right by Nat King Cole must be your favorite song. Bet you’ve worn the record out.

      Aug 21, 2009 at 10:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ricky Fitz
      Ricky Fitz

      @schlukitz:

      Again, referring to the yarmulke, completely irrelevant.

      Aug 21, 2009 at 10:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @Ricky Fitz:

      Again, referring to the yarmulke, completely irrelevant.

      No, friend. It’s you who is irrelevant.

      Totally and irrevocably!

      Aug 21, 2009 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      So this kid is supposed to suppress his individuality and conform. As to the high pitched voice, that’s just the kid, nothing he did to himself. I don’t find your opinions offensive Fitz, they’re just so darned sad. Blaming the victim. Ugh

      Aug 21, 2009 at 1:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dude23
      dude23

      It seriously sucks to be gay or bi! Everybody is against you and just because your gay or bi people think your stupid, weak, weird, and not fit to have friends! I’m bi and everybody snickers and says “oh there’s that gay kid. Yeah I bet he sucks it every day.” people are such assholes sometimes. seriously kids have to deal with this in school and on the bus? No wonder I pretend to be sick so I don’t go to school.The two good things are that the teachers are cool and I have some friends at school. One time two years ago in 6 grade this kid always called me emo and made fun of me for being gay and then i got mad and punched him in the jaw so then he tried to joke me and i shoved his head into a fence then into the street and he almost got hit by the bus.So the next day he got his huge brother to walk with him home on and off the bus and kick at my feet to make me fall so the my sis (who is lesbian) started threatening the kid then he just started making fun of my mom.This lasted for awhile and I got Fs in almost every single class except for spanish and then school was over and he stole my bike and egged my house then i didn’t see him again because he was in high school. So school is really hard for gay kids. PS: that kid is cute :)

      Oct 3, 2009 at 12:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • yosua ramadhani abbas
      yosua ramadhani abbas

      he is normal and he is a human beings and also he is a new creation…………. Why would you want to torture him with therapy and mental punishment in the mental hospital. Let him be free and loose as they are, because he is a human being

      Sep 9, 2010 at 12:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • yosua ramadhani abbas
      yosua ramadhani abbas

      Why they can not protect him, because they do not know how to treat them and how to nurture them. Remember he is also human. What if he too is your child and one of the members of your family. Let the child is free and do not force them to be straight just like you. Because they are new creatures and certainly there are ways how to treat them the same as men and women, and certainly it is true for gay children.

      Sep 9, 2010 at 12:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • yosua ramadhani abbas
      yosua ramadhani abbas

      Do not rob of their freedom, as with the freedom of women who at that time did not have equal rights with men groups.
      Let them free and have equal rights with straight people. Because they also have rights that are useful for human survival.

      Sep 9, 2010 at 12:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jan
      Jan

      I am gay, and have been in the same situation for a long
      time.

      Sep 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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