AFRICANGLOBE – Luring him in with a fake hug, a “fellow” football player at Dietrich High School in Idaho restrained a Black, mentally disabled classmate while one other classmate forced a coat hanger into the Black boy’s rectum and another kicked it several times.
All three of the football players who perpetrated the sexual assault were white.
“I screamed,” the boy testified. “I was pretty upset. I felt really bad. A little bit betrayed and confused at the same time. It was terrible — a pain I’ve never felt.”
The attack required hospitalization and prompted a criminal suit against several students and school administrators. According to the suit, the boy was repeatedly attacked even before this incident and “was taunted and called racist names by other members of the team which names included ‘Kool-Aid’ ‘chicken eater’ ‘watermelon’ and [the N-word],”
The suit centers around one particular aggressor, John R.K. Howard. Howard engaged in “aggressive ‘humping’, jumping on him from the back and simulating anal sex,” in addition to “power wedgies,” forcing the young boy to recite a song called “Notorious KKK,” and stripping the boy and photographing him naked.
Howard also knocked the boy out with his bare fists in one particularly ghoulish scenario. The boy was forced to wear boxing gloves in the unfair fight while school administrators and students watched in a circle, screaming “catcalls, taunts and racial epithets.”
Many other students participated in the repeated abuse of the student, but Howard appears to be the ringleader and worst offender. The complaint summarizes Howard’s progression from deviant to violent criminal, precipitated by the football coaches and teachers around him.
“Mr. Howard is a large and aggressive male who had been sent to live with his relatives in Idaho due to his inability to keep out of trouble in Texas. Mr. Howard is a relative of prominent individuals in the community and, at least in part due to his athletic ability and community connections, the Defendants ignored or were deliberately indifferent to the behavior of Mr. Howard which included aggression, taunting and bullying of The Plaintiff and other students in the District. With deliberate indifference, the Defendants did nothing to curb the vicious acts of Mr. Howard who brought with him from Texas a culture of racial hatred towards the Plaintiff.”
Eleven school administrators are named specifically in the suit, which alleges that administrators not only did nothing to help the boy, but even encouraged others students to fight with him. As such, they are complicit in the abuse of the boy who is especially vulnerable due to “mental disorders including learning disabilities.”
17-year-old wide receiver Tanner Ward was also named in the suit, singled out as the person who forced the coat hanger into the boy’s rectum before Howard began kicking it. A third football player, 16, who held the boy is being charged as a minor, but he was unnamed in the initial reports. Howard and Ward are being charged as adults, however, and could face life in prison for their actions.
Ward’s trial is scheduled for September 26, while Howard has a preliminary hearing set for June 10.
By: Hugh Wharton