Ohio school agrees to pay $30,000 to student hurt in anti-gay attack

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A school in Ohio has agreed to pay $30,000 to a gay student who was attacked by a classmate.

Zach King, who was 15 at the time of the November 2011 attack, suffered a concussion and lost several teeth in the incident, which was filmed and put on the internet.

He said officials at Union-Scioto High School in Chillicothe told him to “tone down” his homosexuality.

He sued the school with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union. Last week, the ACLU announced that the two sides had reached a settlement.

As well as the $30,000, the school has agreed to improve its anti-bullying policies. It maintains that the attack on Zach was not foreseeable and has not admitted wrongdoing. It will pay another $5,000 to the ACLU to cover legal expenses.

In the video, Zach was shown being knocked to the ground and punched repeatedly. His attacker had left homophobic remarks on his Facebook page two days earlier.

The school initially gave the attacker three days’ suspension. Any further punishment, if given by the school, has not been revealed. However, the attacker admitted to a misdemeanour assault charge in juvenile court and was sentenced 90 days in juvenile detention.