Three Long Island teenagers were arrested yesterday for allegedly beating up another boy on the school bus, and calling him homophobic slurs.
According to CBS, the three teens — Chase Morrison, 16; David Spencer, 18; and Roy Wilson, 16 — have been charged with felony hate crime for "allegedly stomp[ing] on the victim's arms, legs, stomach and thigh, while making disparaging remarks about his sexual orientation." They apparently repeated the attack, targeting the victim Monday and again on Tuesday. The boys have pled not guilty, and Nassau County police are currently questioning a busdriver and matron who were on the bus during the assault.
Apparently this was just the culmination of a weeks-long campaign of bullying. And here's the saddest part of an already very sad story: "Investigators said the alleged victim [...] admitted he didn't have the courage to complain — fearing retaliation, but when the taunts turned physical the victim finally came forward." Admitted? Courage? Sorry, but it's not this kid's job to keep from getting beaten up. And not coming forward because you're afraid of retaliation isn't some shameful thing you have to "admit." Yes, reporting bullying can make it easier for adults to help you, but it's also those adults' job to pay attention and create an environment where any bullying is swiftly and definitively stopped. Nassau County is apparently conducting an anti-hate campaign in its schools, which is a step in the right direction — but it sounds like they have a ways to go.