Youth sentenced for attack on gay studentAround the Nation, Top Highlights Thursday, December 8th, 2011
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – A 15-year-old boy, will serve 90 days in a juvenile detention center for the assault of a gay student that gained national attention after a cell phone video of the attack went viral on the Internet.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that Levi Sever, 15, was sentenced last week after previously pleading guilty to a delinquency count of assault before Juvenile Court Judge Richard Ward.
Zachary Huston, 15, was assaulted Oct. 17 in a classroom at Unioto High School. Huston said that he had been bullied in the past, and Sever had commented on a picture of him on Facebook with the statement, “Check out the definition of a faggot.” Huston’s mother said he was targeted because he is gay.
Sever was ordered to undergo mental health counseling and continue his education during his detention, said Prosecutor Matthew Schmidt.
Sever has not attended school since the attack, but school officials have declined to discuss the discipline he received.
Huston and his mother, Rebecca Collins, have complained that school officials did not respond appropriately to their reports about bullying due to his sexual orientation.
The attack prompted petitions calling for the Union-Scioto School District to change its policy on bullying. The Dispatch also reported that the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio threatened to take legal action against the school district unless it enacts changes to better protect students from bullying.
School officials have declined to address the requests.
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