BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – That’s right. That’s the best some imaginative Ohio school
authorities could do when repeatedly approached by 15-year-old gay teenager Zach
and his mom about the homophobia he faced in school.
But then came the video of Zach being mercilessly beaten by
a fellow Unioto High School student. In the midst of a bevy of other students
standing around and watching, or getting out of the way, Zach’s attacker rained
punch after punch on the teen as he covered up on the ground, the smacking sounds
as they landed on Zach’s body more than clearly audible.
“I don’t even remember how many times he hit me,” Zach told
a broadcast reporter.
One of the apparent catalysts for the beating? A comment the
attacker allegedly posted on a Facebook photo of Zach: “Check out the
definition of a fag.”
The more-than-sickening incident was not the first time Zach
had endured a physical attack. He’d been hit in the face before but tried to
ignore the violence.
Zach says one genius of a school administrator had this to
say to him and his mother: “There’s a few gay kids in school, and you’re the only ones I have a problem
with. So what can you do to tone yourself down?”
Mom was incredulous: “Wait a minute: you want my son to
change, but you don’t want this bully to change?"
Enter the ACLU of Ohio. It is going to represent Zach in
possible legal action against the district.
The all-too-familiar $64-million question for governments
and school authorities everywhere? Why not spend the money on equipping schools
and the future adults they’re supposed to be educating to respect difference
and diversity instead of on lawyers to fight off the lawsuits that will keep coming if you fail to act on behalf of your students?
Check out the YouTube video here: