social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in Social Sciences
Stonewall Riots Stonewall Riots
The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
Gay Liberation Front
Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.
The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980 The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980
The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
Leather Culture
"Leather" is a blanket term for a large array of sexual preferences, identities, relationship structures, and social organizations loosely tied together by the thread of what is conventionally understood as sadomasochistic sex.
Anthony, Susan B. Anthony, Susan B.
Although best known for her crusade for women's suffrage, Susan B. Anthony spoke out on a range of feminist issues.
Africa: Sub-Saharan, Pre-Independence
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
Androgyny Androgyny
Androgyny, a psychological blending of gender traits, has long been embraced by strong women, soft men, members of queer communities, and others who do not easily fit into traditionally defined gender categories.
A cultural crossroads between Asia and Europe, Russia has a long, rich, and often violent heritage of varied influences and stark confrontations in regard to its patterns of same-sex love.
Topics In the News
Bullied Student Reaches Settlement with School District
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 07/22/12
Last updated on: 07/22/12
Bookmark and Share

Zack King speaks with the press.

Bullied gay student Zack King has reached a settlement with an Ohio school board in a suit prompted by an October 2011 incident in which he was beaten at school. A videotape of the assault went viral on the Internet and brought fresh attention to the problem of bullying in the schools.

Randy Ludlow reports in the Columbus Dispatch that a Ross County school district will pay up to $35,000 and improve its anti-bullying policies in a settlement with King.

On October 17, 2011, the Unioto, Ohio high school freshman was viciously attacked by a classmate who had previously taunted him for being gay. Video of the attack, which was recorded with a cellphone by another student and later posted online, went viral on the Internet and shocked the conscience of viewers around the world.

When it was learned that no one came to King's aid and that the attacker had been punished only by a three-day suspension, outrage grew and there were calls for the police to investigate the attack. Many viewers of the video described the assault as a hate crime.

In response, the school reviewed the original punishment given to the attacker and reportedly increased it. However, citing privacy concerns, school officials refused to specify the disciplinary actions that were taken.

After the outcry, police charged the fifteen-year-old attacker with misdemeanor assault. The student pled guilty and was sentenced to 90 days in a juvenile detention center.

The attack on King was by no means the first time he had been physically and verbally abused at school. His mother repeatedly reported these attacks to school officials but they did little or nothing.

After the attack in October, King and his mother asked the ACLU for help.

On November 15, 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio delivered Unioto High School officials the legal equivalent of an ultimatum: meet with the ACLU to discuss ways to curb bullying or face a lawsuit.

The ACLU's letter accused the school district of being "derelict in its responsibility to provide a safe learning environment" for King.

In the settlement approved on July 19, 2012, the district admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to develop "acceptable polices to address the alleged intolerant behavior . . . against LGBT students," create an effective complaint program, and train staff on "cultural understanding" of harassment of LGBT students.

In addition, the school district's insurer will pay $20,000 in damages to King and his mother, provide up to $10,000 in reimbursement for medical and counseling expenses, and pay $5,000 in legal fees to the ACLU.

James Hardiman, a Cleveland lawyer and the legal director of the ACLU of Ohio, said, "We hope similarly situated students don't have to go through what Zach went through. The school district has made a commitment to try to avoid incidents like this in the future."

The school district lawyer, Rick Ross of Columbus, called the assault on King "very unfortunate," but said the district does not believe it contributed to the incident. "They're reviewing their processes and want to put this behind them," Ross said. "They are interested in protecting the safety of all students."

We hope that the lesson taken by the school district and, indeed, by all school districts, from this incident is that neglecting to protect glbtq students can be expensive as well as embarrassing.

We also hope that victims of bullying can take some comfort from the knowledge that fighting back sometimes yields something approaching justice.

In the video below, from November 14, 2011, Zack King and his mother address the incident and announce plans to pursue legal action against the district.

Related Encyclopedia Entries
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2015, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.