You’re out with some friends, you decide to pull a prank. So what do you do? Hand in a bowl of water? Old news. Drawings on the face? Boring. According to police in Kentucky, a group of Jackson County High School seniors decided to pull a prank on their “friend” (as WKYT puts it) by pushing her off a cliff. Yeah, why not do that?
While the three are accused of kidnapping and attempting to murder openly gay teenager Cheyenne Williams, the case is not being investigated as a hate crime. The police say that they have evidence that points to the incidence being a prank, which occurred on April 16 on the national Day of Silence, an event meant to raise awareness about bullying on the basis of sexual orientation. Video taken on a cell phone might clear up to police the fact that “friends” pushing another friend off a cliff isn’t exactly good ‘ol harmless fun.
This comes after a fight at an LGBT organization at Miami University on the 17th. Junior Ben Collins says that the fight broke out after he went to the bathroom and heard others who said “Faggots do not belong in society.” Oxford, Ohio police say that it was Collins who started the fight, and that the assault was not a hate crime.
Even though the FBI includes sexual orientation as a motivator of hate crimes, only 24 states have hate crime laws that protect sexual orientation. It’s more than a little bit appalling that a country in which everyone is supposed to have the same rights, that people are allowed to terrorize a group in society for such a personal issue. It still baffles me that sexual choices between consenting people are subject to such public scrutiny and threats. Until that changes, we should at least be protecting the people who are in harm’s way for doing nothing wrong.