A 15-year-old teenager at Union-Scioto High School in Chillicothe, Ohio, is left with a chipped tooth and a possible concussion after a classmate brutally ambushed and attacked him earlier this week for being gay. The assault, watched by classmates who did nothing, was captured on cell-phone video and posted to Facebook.
The boy’s name is being kept private, but he spoke to WSYX ABC 6 in Ohio. “I covered myself, I shielded my body, but he kept on hitting me,” he recalled. “And nobody did anything.”
His mother says the three-days suspension his attacker received is not enough and is in discussion with the prosecutor’s office about pressing criminal charges. Ultimately though, she says she wants a more peaceful environment for kids like her son to learn in. “All those people who have that hate in their heart—they need to let it go. Because people are gonna be who they are.”
The Union-Scioto Local School District does have a policy prohibiting harassment based on sex, race, color, national origin, religion and disability, but not sexual orientation or gender identity. Ohio House Bill 208, currently languishing in the legislature, would amend current laws to require that school policies prohibit harassment, intimidation or bullying based on any actual or perceived trait. “All students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, have the right to a safe school and education,” says Equality Ohio Executive Director, Ed Mullen. “Students should not fear verbal harassment, cyberbullying, or physical assault in our public schools.”