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article imageOp-Ed: Student suspended for beating up gay classmate-punishment enough?

By KJ Mullins     Oct 27, 2011 in World
Chillicothe - Huffington Post is reporting on an Ohio school incident of a student who beat up another student because he was gay. The attacker was given a three day suspension from school, but is that enough of a punishment?
A young man, 15, is now suffering a possible concussion and clipped tooth after the Union-Scioto school attack in Chillicothe, Ohio. His attacker, who waited for his victim, gets a mere slap on the wrist. This is hate, it's a crime and if it had taken place on the street the attacker would be behind bars for assault and hate crimes.
The recent attack took place highlights what many queer youth face every day for being who they are. They have committed no crime, they want nothing more than an education and yet they often are punished by an intolerant society. That punishment comes in the form of Internet attacks on Facebook, punches in the hallway and threats of death being whispered in their ear.
Their attackers are often children as well, allowed to get away with their crimes with little more than a scolding. They learn quickly it's okay to bully a person who is different from the norm of society.
The mother of the victim in the Ohio school case is not sitting down. She plans on going to the police and filing charges on behalf of her son. She said in a media interview, "For all those people that have hate in their hearts, they need to let it go because people are going to be who they are."
For all the "It Gets Better" ads, the We Give A Damn campaigns and celebs coming out of the closet the truth is it is not getting better quick enough. In 1998 at the University of Wyoming a young man named Matthew Shepard was murdered. He was beaten to death because he was gay. That was the only reason for the attack. His death brought global attention to the problem of hate crimes committed against queer youth. That was 1998. Laws were passed. Marches were held.
And today, over a decade later, we are still in the same pit of hatred. Children are beaten, bullied, killed- for one reason. They choose to love someone who is of the same sex, they feel like they were born the wrong sex, they choose to be the real them.
Hate shouldn't be winning but it appears it is.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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