Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Houston Cy-Fair Bus Driver Fired Over Gay Teen Beating

Houston, TX – The Cy-Fair Independent School District has fired a bus driver for offering a 16-year-old openly gay student no assistance when he told the driver a gang was on the bus waiting to beat him up.  After an investigation by school district officials, the as yet unnamed driver was released from employment for ignoring the pleas of Jayron Martin, a sophomore at Langham Creek High, who had been tipped off by a friend that a gang of boys were “going to beat the gayness out of him.”  KPRC Local 2 News reports that Langham Creek High School officials have acknowledged that the day of the beating, Martin asked school leaders and his bus driver for help and protection.  An assistant principal at the school is still under investigation, according to a school district spokeswoman.  “The review is not completed. Thus far, [the assistant principal’s] actions have not merited putting him on administrative leave. Included in the review of what happened that day are details that cannot be shared publicly because of federal law,” said Kelli Durham, on behalf of Cy-Fair ISD.  Young Martin has always contended that the school’s principals were more at fault than the bus driver, since they had a considerable amount of time to respond to his appeal for help while the bus driver had to make his decision on the spot.  “Because I told [the principals] first and I gave a written statement and they did nothing at all,” he said.  Martin’s nine tormentors who were also riding the same bus chased him down when Martin was let off at his neighborhood.  One of boys, himself 16 years of age, beat Martin with a metal pipe while the other eight cheered him on and spat expletives and slurs at their victim.  The harrowing ordeal only ended when a neighbor broke up the beating with a loaded and cocked shotgun.  The assailant and his accomplices ran away, leaving Martin cut, beaten, bruised, and concussed.  The 16-year-old attacker, whose name remains confidential since he is still a juvenile, has been charged with aggravated assault.  Martin’s mother contends that he should be charged with a hate crime.  LaKenya Martin said that though the experience was one of the most trying of his son’s life, and very well could have ended with much more than injuries, she suspects that the publicity the school district has faced from Texas and around the nation will generate change.  “It might take some time, but with all changes, that’s what happens, it takes time and I do think that everything is going to come to light and people will see this can’t continue,” she told reporters.

December 4, 2009 - Posted by | African Americans, Beatings and battery, Bullying in schools, gay teens, harassment, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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