A 13-year-old boy was sodomized by a group of his peers last year, but instead of rushing to his defense, the small Colorado town in which he lived took sides with his tormenters.
Bloomberg News reports that during a high school wrestling tournament in Denver last February, three upperclassmen from Norwood, Colorado cornered the 13-year-old on an empty school bus, bound him with duct tape and sodomized him with a pencil as some form of hazing ritual.
The boy was the son of Norwood’s k-12 principal, who, after reporting the incident to police, was forced to resign by the townspeople. Students lodged protests against the victim, putting “Go to Hell” stickers on his locker and wearing T-shirts supporting his attackers.
Making matter worse, two of the attackers were sons of Robert Harris, the wrestling coach and president of the school board. When the victim’s father confronted Harris, he claims the coach said nothing had happened, only to later tell him, “This happens 1,000 times a day around the U.S.”
According to Bloomberg, more than 40 high school boys were sodomized with foreign objects by their teammates in over a dozen alleged incidents reported in the past year alone; an alarming increase from just three such reported incidents a decade ago.
Due to his personal involvement with the case, the principal stepped aside and let school officials dole out punishment. He had hoped they would handle the perpetrators properly, but he was severly disappointed when Superintendent David Crewes gave them a measly one-day in-school suspension. Harris recused himself from the board’s discussions and eventually resigned.
Neither Crewes nor the school board reported the incident to police, leaving the victim’s father no other choice but to do so himself. The three boys were arrested and charged as juveniles with kidnapping, sexual assault and false imprisonment. News of the arrest spread like wildfire through the town of 500, and the victim and his family were the ones who inevitably got burned.
Some believed the principal was blowing things out of proportion and that bullying was just a part of growing up and being involved in athletics. “When I was in school there might have been bullying, but there was none of this crap about telling the school,” one resident told Bloomberg. “How you going to be tough if you don’t get bullied sometimes?”
The school board held a series of private meetings calling for the principal’s resignation. A mother of one of the accused allegedly paid to have T-shirts made bearing the initials of the suspects, worn in support by their friends. The victim, however, didn’t understand why no one was supporting him.
“Nobody would help us,” said the victim’s father. “My son was the outcast. He was made to feel like he was the one who caused the whole thing.”
Later that year, one of the accused students pleaded guilty to sexual contact without consent and the other two pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. They received sentences including probation, community service and restitution of about $2,500 apiece. The board was forced to renew the principal’s contract, through negotiations with both of their lawyers, but he was put on paid leave until they reached a settlement. When the principal was offered another job 200 miles away, he took it, even if it meant earning half of his original salary.
His son, now 14, is doing better, it seems, joining his new school’s wrestling team and starting football and weightlifting. As for his old school — Norwood brought in experts from Denver to address bullying and hazing in school. Only time will tell if these students will be made less “tough” as a result.
Cover photo: Holmes Education Post
That principal needs to sue the district and walk away with a nice settlement. Sorry, but assault and rape with a foreign object don’t get to be classed as “Gee, thats just kids being kids!”.
This family should be grateful that they were able to leave that awful town – even with the salary cut. Obviously they were never going to have a decent life amidst such hate filled folk. This may happen all over the country but that does not make it any less appalling. Hazing is a form of torture and no community should tolerate it.
SUE SUE SUE!
ok bigots make up your minds…does shoving foreign object up another guy’s ass make you tough or gay? and are you for it or against it…maybe the duct tape makes it ok?
Rape is rape.
That little f*ggot made them do it! (sarcasm)
You would think after Columbine that people in that state would be smart enough to realize perhaps bullying isn’t smart. Now if the kid had snapped and shot up the school everyone would be on a gun ban bandwagon. Or with the cries of” how did this happen here?” This is exactly why it happened here. Because even as the principle of the school your child isn’t safe or someone else is in a position of power over your child and his rights and even your job. Rape is still still rape. Pencil or no. I can’t imagine what sick fucking kid sticks a pencil in another kids ass. Hazing nothing. Sticking something in someone’s ass that doesn’t want it there is rape.
The way this town is acting is similar in some ways to the way the bigots in Mississippi acted when that girl wanted to take another girl to her prom.
It was all the girls fault because she spoke out.
The worst thing you can do to people like this, is bring in ANY outside attention.
What do you bet that is a ‘fine upstanding church going christian’ town?????….consisting of 438 residents….nearly all white.
Even though that young man was treated horribly, it’s a good thing to find out about one’s neighbors so he can move and grow up in a, hopefully, better environment.
There’s no way those little thugs learned anything positive from the punishment…except, they can get by with horrible actions.
Of course all those guilty of sodomising this unfortunate lad, and others like them, will be self-proclaimed heterosexuals, and ardently homophobic as a badge of honour.
And it is these same type “good” people that have the fucking nerve to call ALL gays sodomites. All the same base root components within the whole story of Sodom are in this article.
i wanted to comment on this over the weekend but i didn’t because the entire story is so… upsetting to me. I’m in Texas, where football is a religion, and the things that are allowed to happen for the “greater good” can be shocking. AND YES… i agree that with the normal sociological behavior among teens there is a certain amount of hazing or whatever that goes on.
THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE. to minimize the trauma of a young teenager is criminal. It is almost more criminal than the crime itself. And you make a good point @lab because there are two completely different mentalities at play and neither of them has the young teenager’s mental or physical well being as their interest.
This reminds me of the Duke University rape case when EVERYBODY stood behind the athletes as a knee-jerk reaction… until more evidence came out. Same fucking thing.
And how much you want to bet that damn close to 100% of them call themselves CHRISTIANS?
Which Duke rape case are you talking about? If it is the Lacrosse case, the stripper ended up admitting the story was false and said that the DA kept trying to force her to stick to that story even though she and other witnesses had said it wasn’t the case, and the DA was fired and was then sued for falsely filing a rape case against the athletes.
Norwood, CO— what a disgusting community to be a part of. 500 obnoxious christian people — sounds about right. One can only assume from this story that Colorado should be placed between Mississippi and Louisiana on a physical map. Where does this southern slime emanate from? Geeezzzz, Louise! Get a team of lawyers, sue the School district until they have to disband and get quartered into four other school districts. And make sure the treasury is EMPTY, forever!
Interesting…..the wrestling coach is also the president of the school board. In most places it is illegal for school employees to be on the school board. Can we say *conflict of interest*? Rape is rape. Those beloved student-athletes should be registered sex offenders.
If there is a fair God in Heaven….Norwood, CO should be wiped from the face of the earth.
@ShowMeGuy: Why do you suppose there has been a mysterious and surprising uptick in the news regarding drones and gulags rumors??!!? (The Wizard behind the school board curtain is NOT selling pizzas!).
Not only should the principal sue the students that assaulted his son. He should also sue anyone who was associated with later abuse by email, phone, posters, tee shirts, etc. You cannot profit or aid in the commission of a crime. When he is done, I hope that they are all penniless and can’t move or receive any aid or assistance from the government.
@Cam: You know what? You’re right. I’m sorry. I was at the end of the rant. They girl did end up pregnant and a few athletes sued Duke. So thanks for catching that.
So I will say, the sociology initially around the Duke case was for the athletes. And if you want another (probably more apt example) then I would go with the Sandusky Penn State scenario. Nortre Dame also…
The point is that in a community that is athletically driven people’s immediate, knee-jerk reaction is to protect the players. In Texas we have people holding their kids back a grade in elementary school so they can have a year advantage in playing football in jr. high and high school, for example.
THAT is what this situation evokes in me and it makes me upset. I apologize for the incorrect reference, however.
So that’s what they really mean by a “small” town…~!
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