kids today

Is This Anti-Gay Bully Actually the … Victim?

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So says his mama. Fourteen-year-old upstate New York high school student Jacob, who is openly gay, claims a classmate targeted him over the past two years for his sexuality, and sued the school district through the New York Civil Liberties Union for failing to protect him. Now the alleged bully’s mother says it’s her son who’s the victim, and that Jacob was the one doing the harassing.

Alas, the school district isn’t commenting because of the pending legislation, but the supposed bully’s mother Tamara Hendrick, pictured, says everyone has it wrong, and that her son was not only victimized by Jacob, but now by the school, who’s letting him take the fall.

Hendrick said she has been told her son faces a six-month suspension for allegedly harassing Jacob. But she claims the harassment has gone the other way.

“This boy has told my son that he loves him, that they should go out and that he wished my son’s family dead,” she said. “They had a few verbal altercations last year and my son was punched in the face by this other student.”

She said her son was suspended for five days at the end of the last school year, but allowed to return to school. While she has been involved in meetings with the district over the summer, it was just last Thursday that she said she was called and told her son was not to attend school today and faces the six-month suspension. She said the final decision on the suspension has not been made, so she decided to send her son to class anyway.

At this point, we’re dealing with a he-said-she-said scenario. Did Jacob profess his love for this woman’s son? Maybe. But that’s not such a terrible thing; teens regularly flirt and hit on classmates they’re interested in. Did Jacob wish ill to the boy’s family? Also possible — and that’s pretty reprehensible. But we’re looking at Jacob’s allegations of suffering two years of harassment at the hands of this kid, and it’s hard to imagine Hendrick’s son bears no responsibility.