The Price of Bullying: About $35,000
Bullies beware: anti-gay violence is not only senseless and cruel, it’s also expensive.
The Union-Scotio school board of Chillicothe, Ohio, agreed to pay a $35,000 settlement reached with the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, which represented Zach King, the student who was brutally beaten for being gay.
The settlement is tame compared to other LGBT-assault settlements like the Washington school district forced to pay $100,000 for ignoring anti-gay, racist bullying.
King’s story garnered attention last October when a cell-phone video was uploaded to the Internet depicting the assault. His attacker received 90 days in juvie after pleading guilty the assault.
The breakdown goes like this:
- $20,000 in damages to the King family.
- $10,000 in medical and counseling expenses.
- $5,000 in legal fees to the ACLU.
- A promise to develop anti-bullying policies in the school district and to teach cultural understanding to school district staff of LGBTQ harassment.
My question, though, is where were these anti-bullying policies 10, 20, 30 years ago?
Maybe if schools taught how to recognize LGBT harassment and enforce acting upon it, as many do for other types of harassment and discrimination, they wouldn’t have to face the responsibility of student harm, both moral and financial.
But that’s just my two cents. Let us know yours in the comments.