. . . a brutal assault in the boys' locker room is raising questions about the climate for gay students at the school and whether administrators are doing enough to respond to bullying.
The November attack was the culmination of several weeks of taunts about the perceived sexual orientation of a freshman boy, his mother said. The assault victim was another 14-year-old boy who told Snoqualmie police that he was tired of his friend being picked on.
The assault broke his eye socket, two teeth and left him with a concussion. Medical assistance wasn't called for almost an hour, and the boy continues to have problems with dizziness and concentration, according to medical records.
A 16-year-old student, who knew neither of the boys, has been charged with second-degree assault in King County Superior Court and no longer attends the high school. His family declined comment. Another student, who allegedly led the taunts and was seen talking to the assailant immediately before the attack, told police that he didn't know the assailant and hadn't told him to assault the victim.
If that school sounds familiar, then it's nice to know that folks have good memories:
Some who've followed Mount Si's history believe that administrators have not taken a stronger stance in defense of gay students — or those perceived to be gay — out of fear of community backlash.
Outspoken anti-gay rights pastor Ken Hutcherson and a group of parents in 2008 called for cancellation of the Day of Silence. They told the school board that the event was an example of Mount Si teachers forcing their liberal political agenda on students. When the day wasn't canceled, they urged parents to keep their students home. More than 100 held a prayer vigil outside the school.
Box Turtle Bulletin has an excellent history of Hutcherson's anti-gay activities:
For years, Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, WA, has been fighting to make Mt. Si High School a miserable place for gay students. He’s tried to get teachers fired for challenging him on gay issues and threatened to put another on his list. He’s sent his daughter to monitor Gay-Straight-Alliance meetings. He’s preached that God hates effeminate men and “joked” about beating them. He’s spread the message that the Bible opposes tolerance.
Is Hutcherson directly responsible for what happened to the student at Mt. Si? I'm sure there will be good points made by folks on both side of the argument.
But one thing is clear. This is definitely a case of "chickens coming home to roost."