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Line up in the court room

Antigay bullying – whether the victim is gay or not – has become a big issue for many school boards.

~ Last April the BC Court Of Appeal upheld a decision of the BC Human Rights Tribunal supporting the claim of Azmi Jubran, a student in North Vancouver’s Handsworth Secondary School, who was repeatedly harassed and called homophobic names. The Tribunal awarded him $4,500 in damages saying that the board didn’t address systemic issues of harassment

~ An August 2004 case saw a New Jersey boy awarded $50,000 to a seventh-grader who was physically beaten and called gay slurs. The Toms River Regional School District was also required to update its student handbook and conduct mandatory training for the next six years to “explicitly ban bullying on the basis of sexual orientation”

~ This past summer 18-year-old Dylan Theno, a Kansas City high-school student, was awarded $250,000 in a lawsuit against the Tonganoxie School District. He claims that antigay bullying caused years of stress and forced him to drop out of school. Theno, who is straight, says the school district didn’t support him or deal with the bullying issue.