I’m usually detached enough that this stuff doesn’t get to me. But for some reason, Billy Lucas’ story has me on the verge of tears. (Fox 59)
He was a teenager who didn’t quite fit in. His classmates said Billy Lucas was bullied for being different.
The 15-year-old never told anyone he was gay but students at Greensburg High School thought he was and so they picked on him.
“People would call him ‘fag’ and stuff like that, just make fun of him because he’s different basically,” said student Dillen Swango.
Students told Fox59 News it was common knowledge that children bullied Billy and from what they said, it was getting worse. Last Thursday, Billy’s mother found him dead inside their barn. He had hung himself.
I am sick of reading this story over and over and over and the only change is the name. But I am even more sick, disgusted, and outraged at hearing “I didn’t know” excuses and blame-the-victim justifications from administrators who ignored the abuse – often deliberately.
This time the ‘I Don’t Give A Damn Award’ goes to Principal Phil Chapple, who had no idea that Lucas was being bullied. Nope, no clue.
But he did say this:
“Sometimes he created that atmosphere around him,” Chappel said. “Kind of like a little tornado because he went around doing things that made dust fly, I guess.”
So Chappel saw dust fly, but never noticed that kids were threatening Billy every day. Un-huh. And he admits that his problems were because “people found out who he was.”
So I guess Chappel’s version is that Billy “created that atmosphere” by being “who he was” and “went around doing things” that “made dust fly” but Chappel never noticed any bullying, no sir. In his rush to blame Lucas for his own mistreatment, Chappel didn’t even see the internal contradiction in his own story.
So now that the news cameras are on him, what is Chappel doing? Is he contacting GLSEN? Is he instating long-tested anti-bullying programs? Is he letting the teachers know that there will be no tolerance for anti-gay bullying? Is he even acknowledging that this has LONG been a problem at Greensburg High? (Eyewitness News)
school administrators met Monday to discuss forming a committee that would include students and parents to help battle the bullying issues
Chappel’s newfound awareness of bullying is total bull. Another previous student – one who survived his own suicide attempt – told school officials about his anti-gay bullying. They did nothing.
I guess Chappel thought that he too “created that atmosphere.”