East Lee County High School in
Florida has a zero tolerance
policy on fighting. It doesn’t matter who started it or who may
have tried to stop it, if you’re in a fight at school, you get
suspended. In the case of Mark Betterson, a student at the high
school, he received a 10-day suspension because, he says, he
stepped in to stop a gay student from being bullied.
Via the Gay Star News:
‘I was just trying to break up the whole thing because
its not fair for somebody to get beat up for something that he is.
That’s not really called for.’
Betterson said he had only gotten physical when Griffin had begun
throwing punches at him too.
‘He swung at me and was like you can get it too so we got into a
fight,’ Betterson said.
Betterson said he understood the school’s policy but thought that
10 days suspension was unfair when all he was trying to was protect
The student who allegedly started the fight, James Griffin, an
18-year-old, wasn’t just suspended for 10 days. He faces battery
charges after sheriff’s deputies reviewed surveillance video of the
fight, which they say corroborated what the bullied student,
Jonathan Colon, told them. Betterson said he’d do the same thing
again, fearing Colon would have suffered more injuries without his
intervention, but still wishes the penalty were less severe. As for
Colon, who said he wasn’t friends with Betterson before the fight,
he said he was surprised Betterson stepped in to help. “I was
protected by someone who had no reason to protect me, we have
nothing in common – he’s on the football team and I’m the
flamboyant gay boy,” he told
a local TV station.
The state of Florida has a stand-your-ground law that is
supposed to protect the right to self-defense. It doesn’t require a
“duty to retreat,” keeping that claim out of the toolbox of
overzealous prosecutors. But, as with other rights protected by
law, or even the Constitution, education administrators would
apply in school.
from Hit & Run http://ift.tt/1gimvrP