Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case That Made History


>>BULLY 1: Get up and fight, faggot.>>JAMIE: He ended up kicking the books out of my hands, and so I went to pick the books up, and he started kicking me, and he continued to kick me and kick me. The kid ended up saying that he would kill me if I said anything to anybody about what he’d done.>>SPEAKER 1: If a school district or a school doesn’t address harassment or bullying, it’s giving a wink and a nod and sending the message that that behavior is okay.>>BULLY 2: Sorry, fag.>>SPEAKER 2: And anytime that you send a signal that the behavior is okay, it will escalate.>>JAMIE’S MOTHER: I felt helpless. I couldn’t do anything for him. I was trying. You know we were trying. We were calling the school. We were doing what we thought we should do as parents.>>DEFENSE ATTORNEY: “Maybe you shouldn’t be so openly gay.” It was said to Jamie Nabozny and thousands of others. And what could be the worst possible message in the world for someone attacked and harassed because of who they’re perceived to be.>>REPORTER: A young homosexual who was beaten and tormented by his classmates is suing his school district for failing to protect him.>>SPEAKER 3: Every child deserves equal protection under the law– that is what this case is about. We went into closing arguments– uncertain– to tell you the truth. We were doing something that had never been done before.>>JUDGE: Has the jury reached a verdict?>>JURY REPRESENTATIVE: Yes, your honor.>>JAMIE’S MOTHER: When the verdict was announced, I– inside my heart was just beating so fast.>>JAMIE: My lawyer informed all of us that we couldn’t respond to the verdict. Don’t show any emotions. Don’t be excited. Don’t be upset. Whatever it is.>>DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He believed that the rules that said he shouldn’t be discriminated against should be honored, and he carried that sense of wrong with him, and he wanted to do something right. [to music] You may write me down in history with your bitter twisted lies. You may trod me down in the very dirt. Still like the dust, I’ll rise. And I’ll rise. I’ll rise. I’ll rise.