A 13-year-old student at Harper Junior High School in Davis, California was apparently harassed over a long period of time by a large number of his peers. His biological father is now divorced and has a male partner, who has become a father as well to the boy. So he now has two dads.
The kids are harassing the kid calling all sorts of anti-gay things, apparently one kid asked him what it was like to sleep with his father, etc. BTW, the kid is not gay.
This went on for a long time and then the family car was arsoned and burned to the ground on their driveway and it took some quick thinking by the kid to alert the family before the house burned down as well.
It was at that point that the family was alerted to the ongoing harassment problem. The principal was told, he disciplined some of the kids.
The family is upset at the leniency of the punishment--apparently only two kids were suspended and five were given detention and a number no punishment at all.
Second and more seriously is that when the kid has come back to school--twice, he has been harassed again and he's now missed a considerable period of time.
The Fischers filed suit against the Davis Joint Unified School District this week in a dispute stemming from the perceived failure by the school district to properly deal with an harassment incident.
Some of the details of the suit included: in-home tutoring for the junior high school district, institution of a mandatory suspension for all students making homophobic comments, appoint a nondistrict neutral third party ("other than Harper Principal David Inns") to monitor and implement a zero-tolerance program toward homophobia, and finally to pay a sum of $100,000 damages for failure to follow California law.
Mr. Fischer's son has not been in school now in well over a month. He was pulled out on October 31 following incidents of harassment that resulted in the suspension of two students, detention for a number of others, and no action toward a larger number of more minor participants. The Fischers do not believe that these students received a punishment commensurate with the offense.
The key concern at this point is that the student was harassed on two different days when he returned to school.
The school has recommended several alternatives including independent study. However, the family believes that independent study would be a blemish on his academic record that could prevent him from going to law school which is his goal.
Thurday night on the Sacramento ABC affiliate, they had a four-minute news broadcast:
ABC Video Link
For additional background on this read this link from the bottom up:
Additional information and Background