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Cops Investigate Gay Bullying in Arizona

Cops Investigate Gay Bullying in Arizona

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In the wake of Jamie Rodermeyer's death, everyone from Anderson Cooper to President Obama has been focused on preventing more teen suicides and the scourge of anti-gay bullying. That hasn't stopped kids from Tucson, Arizona's Sabino High School, however, from bullying one of their own. According to Tucson's KVOA TV, the Pima County Sheriff's department is investigating an exchange between a gay Tanque Verde student and some Sabino High School students who allegedly made threatening comments after the gay student -- who asked to remain anonymous -- posted a comment about Rodemeyer's death on Facebook.

"One of the guys who I went to middle school with supported the bullying and congratulated them on all the things they had done," says the teen victim, who has often been bullied on the way home from school, with other students driving by yelling threats and gay slurs. The bully's comment sparked hundreds more, says KOVA, and while most were positive and encouraging, several of the bullies comments escalated to "terrifying and disgusting" levels.

"It's terrible. It's more frightening than anything else. It just seems like the stuff that progresses into violence," the victim told reporters.

The Sheriff's Department spoke to the Sabino school administrators who refused to speak with reporters, but reportedly told the police they "handled it" and have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to bullying.

The victim says the frightening experience has had one positive outcome: "It really alerted me to the support system I have at my school" including staff and fellow students who stepped in to help, including teachers who got involved.

Gay Straight Alliance advisor, Julie Smith, told KOVA, "At first I do have to tell you I sat down and cried. I mean some of the threats on Facebook were physical threats and I was afraid they would be carried out. I just couldn't see myself not stepping in and doing something to help out."

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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