COLUMBUS, OHIO – An Ohio school district will pay up to $35,000 and be required to improve its anti-bullying policies, in a settlement reached last week with a gay high-school student whose videotaped beating went viral. Union- Scioto school board officials approved the agreement, which was brokered by the ACLU of Ohio, on Thursday.
The settlement was the result of another student’s October 17 assault on Zach King, who was a 15-year-old freshman at Unioto High School. According to the ACLU, school officials “fostered an atmosphere” that permitted bullying of LGBT students, and disregarded reports of harassment.
“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, legal director of the ACLU of Ohio. After pleading guilty to battery, King’s assailant, a 15-year-old student, was sentenced to 90 days in a juvenile detention center.