Unfortunatly this is going to be the quote of this week. These were the words heard by a highschool freshman in Houston, Texas as he was being beaten with a metal pipe by an 18 year old fellow student while a group of eight boys watched.
I saw this news article yesterday, and it is still stuck in my head: Student attacked with metal pipe said school administrators did nothing to help
The short version is that (according to the article) a 16-year-old boy named Jayron Martin was warned by another student that a group of boys was planning to jump him and beat him up because he was gay.
Jayron told his school’s assistant principal. The a.p. told him to write a letter explaining the problem and that he would call him down later in the day. Jayron did but the a.p. didn’t…
By the end of the day nothing had happened. So Jayron got on a school bus after school so did the group of boys he knew was after him.
Jayron told the bus driver. Who did nothing. Finally he got off the bus at his stop. So did the gang of older and bigger boys – who then chased him down – into the yard of a neighbor – where an 18 year old began beating him while the other boys watched. The neighbor came out to respond to the incident and was only able to break up the group by cocking a loaded shotgun.
Just a few days back I was thinking about why highly victimized people (aka women and lgbtq people) might resort to arming themselves with guns. I am not a fan of self-defense through guns and have been thinking long and hard about the state of things when a teacher “packin’ heat” might merely be attempting to stay alive.
So with those thoughts banging around in my mind, this part of this news report really stood out to me:
“Then the man came down with his shotgun and he was like, ‘Y’all need to stop. Y’all need to stop,’ And the boy wouldn’t stop and he just kept hitting me and hitting me and so he cocked his gun and that’s when he ran out,” Martin said.
There is so much I could say about violence against queer youth, about institutional inadequacy to address this violence, about the social context in which eight boys would choose this course of action…
But all I could think when I read this report was wow. Knowing what I know about homophobic violence, I really can’t believe this kid is still alive. I mean I really can’t believe this group didn’t beat him to death.
Thank god for that shotgun.
And that – for me – is a v e r y strange thought to be thinking.
Thank god for that man with his shotgun.
I am pretty sure without that neighbor’s gun, this young man would no longer be with us.