Watch: Okla. Seventh Grader Says He was Attacked at School for Being Gay

by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Mar 20, 2018
Watch: Okla. Seventh Grader Says He was Attacked at School for Being Gay

A middle schooler in Moore, Oklahoma, contends that an assault carried out on him by another student was motivated by homophobia. The alleged assailant's mother disagrees, saying her son was responding to being called a name. The altercation was caught on cell phone video.

Local news channel KFOR reported on the incident. The student who was attacked - identified only as Blake - told the station's reporter, "All of a sudden I felt something hit my face, then my head hit against the locker."

The cell phone video appears to confirm his account, showing a person moving through a crowded hallway, approaching another person from behind, and then punching him in the head. The head of the person receiving the punch then slams into the locker in front of him. Unclear is the level of premeditation behind the attack, and whether the individual taking the cell phone video was apprised of the attack before it occurred or simply happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture the footage.

Blake's mother told the news station that it was "terrifying" her son had allegedly been targeted for physical assault, and added that she was worried about his safety.

The name of the alleged attacker has not been released but his mother, identified as Rachel, appeared on the news report to deny that the incident was an episode of homophobic bullying. Rachel called that narrative "absolutely ridiculous" and claimed that her son "has grown up with three family members who are gay." Rachel offered a different interpretation of events: Namely, that her son was responding to Blake calling him "a rapist."

"He had been verbally attacked for months," Rachel said of her son, though it's unclear whether she was claiming her son was "verbally attacked" all that time by the student he allegedly assaulted. The news report said that Rachel's son has endured bullying himself, and added that he is in an "individualized education program." Rachel also told the news station that her son is autistic.

Blake, however, told the reporter that the student who allegedly hit him had used "homophobic language" toward him.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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