An Ohio school district has agreed to
pay up to $35,000 to settle a suit stemming from the October attack
of a gay student.
Zach King, a 15-year-old freshman at
the time, was beaten by another student and video of the attack was
posted on Facebook.
The video, captured by another student
with a cell phone, shows the student waiting for his victim in a
classroom at Union-Scioto High School in Chillicothe, approximately
an hour south of Columbus. The attacker was ordered to serve 90 days
in a juvenile detention center after pleading guilty to the assault.
King, formerly Zach Huston, told
reporters that school officials blamed him for the attack.
“He basically said, 'There's a few
gay kids in school and you're the only one they have problems with.
So, what can you do to tone yourself down?'” he said.
While admitting no wrongdoing, the
district also agreed to improve its anti-bullying policies.
“We hope similarly situated students
don't have to go through what Zach went through,” said
James Hardiman, legal director of the ACLU of Ohio, which
represented the teen and his mother. “The school district has made
a commitment to try to avoid incidents like this in the future.”