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Teen In School Gun Incident Victim Of Unabated Homophobia Mom Says

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Teen In School Gun Incident Victim Of Unabated Homophobia Mom Says

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

August 11, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Farmington, Missouri) The mother of a teenager facing up to 120 days in jail after admitting to firing a shotgun in school says the boy had been the victim of constant anti-gay harassment

Joshua Minks, 17, is awaiting sentencing. On October 11th last year he put his father's disassembled single-shot shotgun into a duffel bag, dressed in black clothing and hood and headed off to school.

In a washroom at the school he assembled the gun and when confronted by three other students fired a hole in the ceiling before a principal and teacher were able to subdue him.

Under a plea agreement which must be agreed to by a judge Minks would be sentenced to 120 days of what prosecutor Wendy Wexler Horn calls "shock incarceration"

He then would be prohibited from living in a home where there are firearms, from going on any school property, and be required to undergo mental health treatment.

In an interview with KFVS television, Minks mother, Amanda Minks said he faced harassment from fellow students daily.

"Josh was being called gay names every single day. He was being harassed every single day," she said.

The teen is 6' 5" tall, weighs more than 400 pounds, and is autistic. Amanda Minks gave the station documents showing the school promised to examine its safety and harassment guidelines to assure the boy was safe, but she said it was never done.

"A young man came up to Joshua and tried to set him on fire twice. The school did not contact me like they were supposed to," she told KFVS.

She also said that she believes the teen wanted to commit suicide.

"Joshua wanted the officer to shoot him. I know that in my heart. He did not have the courage," she said.

The school has not commented on the case.

All it is believed Josh is not gay the homophobic bullying he experienced is indicative of the way gays are vilified in the nation's schools.

In a study released in April to coincided with the National Day of Silence it was found that three-quarters of students surveyed across America said that over the past year they heard derogatory remarks such as "faggot" or "dyke" frequently or often at school, and nearly nine out of ten reported hearing "that's so gay" or "you're so gay" - meaning stupid or worthless - frequently or often. (story)

Over a third of students said they experienced physical harassment at school on the basis of sexual orientation and more than a quarter on the basis of their gender expression.

Nearly one-in-five students reported they had been physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation and over a tenth because of their gender expression.

©365Gay.com 2006

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