Beating of gay student costs schools $35,000 in settlement

An Ohio school district will pay up to $35,000 and improve its anti-bullying policies in a settlement with a gay high school student whose videotaped beating went viral on the Internet. The student and his mother claimed that school officials “fostered an atmosphere” that permitted the bullying of gay students while disregarding his reports of harassment.

The school district’s insurer will pay $20,000 in damages to the family, provide up to $10,000 in reimbursement for medical and counseling expenses and pay $5,000 in legal fees to the ACLU.

“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,” said James Hardiman, a Cleveland lawyer and the legal director of ACLU of Ohio.

[via The Columbus Dipatch]