Boy Assaults Gay Student as Cellphone Captures Attack

Ohio high school student waits for 15-year-old, then attacks him repeatedly.

ByABC News
October 28, 2011, 9:53 AM

Oct. 28, 2011— -- An Ohio high school student waited in a classroom to attack a 15-year-old gay classmate, beating him repeatedly in a vicious assault captured by a bystander on a cellphone.

"I covered myself and shielded my body, and he kept hitting," the gay student, who did not want to be identified, told ABC's affiliate WSYX in Ohio. "Nobody did anything."

Now the boy's mother, Rebecca Collins of Chillicothe, has said she would seek justice for the Oct. 17 beating. The Ross County Sheriff's office said it is investigating the attack but so far has not made any arrests. James Osborne, principal at Union-Scioto High School, located about 50 miles south of Columbus, confirmed the "unfortunate" attack, and said "charges have been filed."

"It turns my stomach," Collins told ABC's affiliate station. "It's my son. I don't care, and they did it just because he's a homosexual."

Other students watched as the attacker waited for his victim to arrive in the classroom. He then shoved his prey to the ground, and repeatedly punched him in the face.

"The boy stood there and waited and waited on him," Collins told the ABC affiliate. "As soon as he walked in the door, the boy hits. [My son] walks away -- 'What did I do? Why are they doing this?' and keeps walking away. He turns around and tries to defend himself and then he tries to get away and the boy grabs him and beats the living crap out of him."

Collins said her son broke two teeth, and may have suffered a concussion.

"Just for all the people out there who have hate in their heart -- they need to let it go," she said. "People are going to be who they are."

The recording of the attack has been posted on Facebook and YouTube.

Osborne, the principal at the 550-student high school, said, "We have never had an incident of this nature. "I am not saying we have never had any reports of bullying -- we have just as much as any school. But we've never had anything of this magnitude." He would not release the name of either the attacker or the victim.

He said the school did not have a gay-straight alliance but had an anti-bullying policy in force. The student who initiated the attack was suspended for three days.

Gay advocacy groups expressed outraged over yet another instance of school bullying involving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

Most recently, Buffalo, N.Y., high school freshman Jamey Rodemeyer killed himself after incessant cyberbullying. Police are currently conducting an investigation.

According to the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, which helps gay students and works with schools to set up support programs, one in four LGBT students have experienced some form of assault in Ohio each year.

Data from GLSEN's 2009 National School Climate Survey revealed that gay students were "punched, kicked or injured with a weapon" at least once in that year because of their sexual orientation.

Its research also indicates that nearly 61 percent of LGBT students in Ohio experience some form of harassment or are threatened by their peers via text messages, emails or postings on social networking sites.

Collins' son said that he had been regularly bullied, including a recent comment that appeared on a posting of his picture on Facebook: "Check out the definition of a faggot."

Currently, an anti-bullying law is pending in Ohio's state legislature, proposing the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity among other enumerated protections to the state's existing anti-bullying law.

Fourteen other states have such protections for LGBT students, according to GLSEN.

"We are deeply disturbed to learn of yet another horrifying bullying incident, this time at Union-Scioto High School," said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard in a prepared statement.

"On the tail end of National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month, this brutal attack should be a call to action for everyone in Ohio to ensure that schools are safe for all students."