[Purported] Anti-Gay Hate Crime at Lancaster High School in California

Edit (Sep 29):

I am shocked as to how much interest this post has generated on my blog. For a little blog like mine to have generated so much traffic on an issue that I am not particularly connected with is fascinating.

To be clear, I first found this story in a Facebook post and simply wanted to share what little I could find about it. Over night, it generated more traffic than any story I’d ever run on here.

For those too lazy to click on links, Snopes.com has now identified the rumor reported here as “probably false”. The actual case seems to have involved a high school student who misidentified a female student as male and had a physical altercation with her. However, I am astonished by the number of people who have tried to excuse his behavior by saying that “he didn’t know it was a girl”. Even supposing that this student had beaten up a male student that would not excuse his actions. It’s unclear as to how much of an asymmetry was involved with the altercation, but numerous reports indicate that the boy did a lot more damage to the girl than she did to him. Provided that this is true, there are still issues worth talking about here.

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A user has posted the following on the Facebook group Gender Queer Atheists:

Yesterday a 17 year female , who attends Lancaster High School in California, was beaten by a football player, on school grounds, for being gay. After receiving over a dozen blows to her jaw, head, eye and head, all he received was a 5 day suspension by the Lancaster School District. She suffered from a fractured jaw and multiple concussions to the head and the Deputy Sheriff advised her mother to re-think her wanting to file charges against the football player because her daughter pushed him back. The school ended up documenting “assault” charges on the victims school file, NOT the football players!!! To make things worse, the Deputy Sheriff warned the victim, by saying, “Just so you know, if you file charges against him, I’m taking his side.” We’re attempting to raise awareness and bring this story to light because Lancaster High School is trying to sweep this “Hate Crime” under the rug! Like if you care and please forward to everyone you know. FYI : CBS, KCAL 9 news are running the story tomorrow at 10pm.

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 Edit 1: It has come to my attention that many do not think this to be a hate crime. It’s possible that this wasn’t an anti-gay hate crime and that, as some claim, the female student was mistaken for a male student and that he was acting in self defence. I fail to see how that resolves anything. The asymmetry in the force used between the two individuals is astonishing; the fact that the girl ended up with the amount of damage that she did, while the boy ended up with so little, means that he used excessive force. That puts this beyond the realm of self defence. The fact that he is not being prosecuted for excessive force speaks to privilege (presumably due to his elevated status as a student athlete), even if it’s not heterosexual privilege.

Edit 2:  The genders of the two individuals should not matter. A male student should no more beat up another male student than beat up a female student.

Edit 3: It has additionally come to my attention that this event is not very well confirmed. Please check the relevant snopes.com site often for updates on this situation.

Edit 4: The local PD has released a press report.

29 Comments

  • September 28, 2012 - 4:05 am | Permalink

    this is so unjust and it needs to be brought to everyone attention. The boy should have charges filed and the officer needs to be put on the spot light as well. if she were straight and he werent a jock it would be different. serious action needs to be taken.

  • September 28, 2012 - 5:33 am | Permalink

    i hate to say it but unless everyone does there part in telling everyone they know nothings going to happen the victim is my ex and a friend and this bothers me because i care about her and the fact that shes the victim and the one who is in the most trouble is ridiculous

  • September 28, 2012 - 6:38 am | Permalink

    This Is All Bull Honest To God You Guys Are blowing This Out of Praportion. The Female Was Not Hit Because She Was Gay She Looked Like a Guy and Acted Like One She Was Starting Problems With The FootBall Player and She Pused Him It Was Self Defence. He Didn’t Know It Was a Frmale Till Kids Yelled ” Stop Stop She’s a Girl! ” He Backed up and Said I’m Sorry I Dodnt know Then Is When The Girls Friends Attacked Him. This Was No Gay Hate Crime. You Guys Are Just Turning It Into One not Thinkjng Of The consequences. The Boy Is Being Threatened by Tons Of People. The female is The one to blame for all of this.

    • September 28, 2012 - 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Hate Crime or not. If she pushed him and he pounded her in the jaw 12 times, that is excessive and he needs anger management and jail time if he beat her up that bad. P.S. your defense argument is flawed. They didnt know eachother? Then, why the fight? Saying he didnt know she was a girl isnt going to fly in the justice system.

    • September 28, 2012 - 7:05 pm | Permalink

      She Pushed Him and No They Did not Know Each other. He Believed That He Was Pushed By a Male. She Looked talked Acted Like One. She Started It He Was Just Standing In Line When Someone Cut and He Told Them Not To Cut Which Is When She Came And Pushed Him. And Neither Of Them Got Hurt Super Bad Not Even Anything Practically They Over Exaggerated With 12 Blows To The Jaw. They Were Both Suspended Which Should Be Enough. She Started It She Was Provoking The Male. Its All Good That She Can Do What She Did But Once She Is Confronted She Choses To Hit The Male ( Which Happens To be a FootBall Player) and He Reacts To It Thinking He Was Fighting a Male Student. But When Things Didn’t Go The Way She Planned She Decided To Play The Lesbian Card Turn It Into Something That Its Not. So I Am Still Sticking With The Female Is The One To Blame.

    • September 29, 2012 - 6:22 pm | Permalink

      If you witnessed it, you should speak with the authorities. I heard other students that witnessed it say the same thing, it’s all a big misunderstanding and people that know nothing about it should stay out of it. People take a look at the girls picture, she looks like a teenage boy! It was an honest mistake! Unbelievable how this is blowing up!

  • September 28, 2012 - 6:57 am | Permalink

    Salvador93 is right, the post isn’t giving out all the facts. This is the report from the sheriff’s department that I found from the local newspaper: http://www.theavtimes.com/2012/09/27/sheriffs-department-responds-to-fight-at-lancaster-high-school/

  • September 28, 2012 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Salvador93 — It’s possible that this wasn’t an anti-gay hate crime. However, the asymmetry in the force used between the two individuals is astonishing; the fact that the girl ended up with the amount of damage that she did, while the boy ended up with so little, means that he used excessive force. That puts this beyond the realm of self defence. The fact that he is not being prosecuted for excessive force speaks to privilege, even if it’s not heterosexual privilege.

  • September 28, 2012 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that people are re-posting one FB post over and over and over again without knowing the truth. The fact that people assume that one anonymous FB post is 100% true is quite disturbing. We’re going on day 3 and there has been no other reports on any news feeds. Do you really think that this woman, her family or other eyewitnesses would not have come forward by now?Until that happens, I will believe this repost over an anonymous FB post;http://www.theavtimes.com/2012/09/27/sheriffs-department-responds-to-fight-at-lancaster-high-school/

    • September 28, 2012 - 8:47 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know which report is accurate. However, I added “[Purported]” to the title to reflect the concerns of yourself and others.

  • September 28, 2012 - 4:36 pm | Permalink

    What I find hard to believe is that the male at some point failed to realize he was hitting a girl (and why that should make a difference anyway). If you’re close enough to someone to beat the shit out of them that thoroughly, wouldn’t you notice a thing or two?

  • September 28, 2012 - 8:15 pm | Permalink
  • September 28, 2012 - 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I think that while the situation may not have been a hate crime both people are responsible for their actions. Girl or not there was no need to push this guy. Jock or not there was no need to beat the sh&% out of someone that supposedly merely pushed you. As I wasn’t there I am not making assumptions or creating arguments to defend either party. However, I wouldn’t presume to believe anything told to me by the police department in that are because they are just as bad if not worse than the LAPD.

  • September 29, 2012 - 5:15 am | Permalink

    For fuck sakes, this isn’t true.

  • September 29, 2012 - 9:55 pm | Permalink

    This is ridiculous. The aunt blew this out of proportion. Because no one bothers to learn their facts, they wouldn’t know that Monica provoked the boy first. She pushed him, and she didn’t deny it, that is when the boy went off on her. Yes the boy is a football player, a skinny little white boy who is fifteen years old, isn’t a large monster, and just less than 5’5. Monica looks like a legit stud, so if she wants to act like a guy, she can be treated as so. He regrets doing what he did and he feels bad, but he didn’t know it was a girl. So learn your facts before you idiots talk shit.

    • September 30, 2012 - 3:49 am | Permalink

      Boys shouldn’t beat up other boys any more than they should beat up girls. You’re argument reinforces gender norms and is invalid.

  • September 29, 2012 - 10:56 pm | Permalink

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/crime/lancaster.asp Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

  • October 6, 2012 - 3:19 pm | Permalink

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • October 6, 2012 - 3:29 pm | Permalink

    The Lancaster Sheriff’s department issued a statement of the facts of the incident. Basically, a 14 year old girl cut in lunch line, a 14 year old boy told her not to, a 17 year old girl, dressed like a boy came over and hit the 14 year old. Both were arrested. If this story is getting convoluted, the 17 year old who is supposedly the gay one who got bullied needs to come clean and tell what really happened. Allowing us to take sides based on misinformation is quite manipulating and I for one do not appreciate it. I stand for people who had unjust actions taken against them, but they also need to take responsibility for their own actions.

  • Cindy lopez
    January 17, 2013 - 2:02 pm | Permalink

    My kids attend Lancaster high, and theres alot they are getting away with! First of all my daughter was bullied last year by a student I told her she wasnt allowed to hang out with ( mind you my daughter is a special ed student) the girl would tell other students that my daughter was calling them names so they would jump my daughter! The V.p. Saw them surrounding both my daughters & sent both my girls to the securitys office only to be harrased & told they were the culprits behind it! we werent aware the girl was seeing a therapist! The girls therapist called me and informed me that the girl wanted to harm my daughter, that she wanted to kill my daughter,burn down the school & blow up my house, & the therapist even called the school to inform them that the student intend to cause bodily harm to another student! Last time I heard those are terroist threats! And my dgtr was told to leave the school! Excuse me really so I put my dgtr in independent study until the new year. The girl left so I put my dgtr.back in school.. Mind you my dgtr missed alot of school behind this nothing was ever said! This year my dgtr has a medical condition, with dr’s notes from her specialist & regular dr. being that shes missed an x amount of days so now shes being harrased by the schools truancy dept. Was given a ticket for habitual truant…..when she has drs notes! it goes on & on & they dont want to accept her drs notes but are saying if shes absent in the future she needs a drs note does not make any sense! And just recently the girl who bullied my dgtr last yr returned to school! Im @ my wits end & need help this school is getting away with far too much!! I hope the girl whom got beat up by the football player gets the justice she deserves..no deserves to get beat on wheather gay/ or straight people have no right putting there hands on anyone! Please someone stir me in the right direction! Ty & godbless

  • messi8990
    February 10, 2013 - 3:43 am | Permalink

    i was there during the fight i go to school with both of these kids and the girl looked more like a guy than a girl to be honest and she initiated the fight he was defending himself believing that she was a boy i thought she was a boy both are at fault but she initiated and she dressed like a boy and acted like a boy

    • Dan Linford
      February 10, 2013 - 3:45 am | Permalink

      Two things:

      1. It does matter who initiated the fight and the details of what happened.

      2. It shouldn’t matter if he knew that she was female or not.

  • messi8990
    February 10, 2013 - 3:45 am | Permalink

    another thing is she only received minor injuries a cut to the lip and a black eye was all she received just like him

  • Chelsea
    August 7, 2014 - 4:00 pm | Permalink

    The girl has a split upper lip and a black eye. That’s it. she doesn’t have the heck beaten out of her. She started it. He backed off when he realized she was a girl. AND, she was bigger than him.

    • Dan Linford
      August 8, 2014 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

      If she does have a split upper lip and a black eye, how can you possibly say that she wasn’t beaten up?

  • Reneehale
    August 17, 2014 - 9:30 pm | Permalink

    There were many witnesses and the female was left with just a busted lip. they both received five days suspension. This article is completely over exaggerated.

    • Dan Linford
      August 17, 2014 - 11:11 pm | Permalink

      Reneehale, thank you for your comment. As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve long since linked the Snopes article in the post. If there is more credible information available than what appears on Snopes, I would be glad to include it in the post.

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