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Athlete suing former high school for not protecting him from anti-gay taunting

Former high school athlete says the school’s failure to protect him from anti-gay harassment violates state law

Kids Football in Soweto-2010 FIFA World Cup Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

A former student-athlete at Emerson Junior-Senior High School in New Jersey is suing the school claiming the administration did not do a sufficient job protecting him from anti-gay slurs. According do NJ.com, Gianni Carpenter saw his grades drop as he dealt with the emotional repercussions of the harassment due to his “perceived sexual orientation.” It isn’t clear whether Carpenter is LGBT or not.

The lawsuit claims the school’s failures violate the state’s anti-bullying statutes.

Having been harassed about my perceived sexual orientation for many years in elementary school, middle school and junior high, I know how tough it can be to deal with. I was witness to teachers and administrators turning a blind eye to it, which made it even worse.

What’s more, the lawsuit says the school had promised an investigation and one never came about, with the harassment continuing all year.

At least one reader at NJ.com isn’t too impressed with the lawsuit:

Sue, sue sue. Don't stand up for yourself and take your lumps if necessary. A fist fight settles a lot at that age, including respect. It's a (was) a part of growing up back in my day and I took lumps and gave some. Today a black eye or bloody nose calls for diversity, counseling, legislation instead of maturing as life presents itself.

Encouraging kids to punch each other when they get picked on. Nice.

It will be interesting to keep tabs on this case, which could have repercussions for school teachers and administrators for years to come.