September 28, 2006
Disappointment, concern, and outrage are the feelings some law students at the University of Virginia have after a gay bashing incident involving their classmates.
Students told a lot. One thing on their minds is worry. Many said they hope this is not the start of something else.
"Things don't happen in a vacuum. A lot of times, we have the warning signs beforehand, but people fail to act on them," said UVa Law Student Wayman Newton.
The warning sign the University of Virginia law student talks about is an alleged gay bashing incident. Law students said it happened at the Foxfield Races on Sunday.
"I was outraged. I think that it speaks poorly of the individual who did it," added Newton.
"My initial reaction disappointment. It's very, very unfortunate that we have a situation at the law school where students who are there have to feel unsafe," said UVa Law Student Teah Frederick.
An email circulating through the law school says a "3L" student approached two gay students, and asked them to kiss to prove they were gay. After seeing the kiss, the "3L" student allegedly called them a derogatory word, and threw his drink at one of them.
News of the incident is a shock to most law students and shows its impact.
"I guess that kind of speaks to how far reaching the information is getting. People who weren't there, or even tied to these folks are definitely being affect by what happened," added Frederick.
The three students directly involved are not talking, but their fellow students are. The law school's weekly editorial will have a column written about it on Friday.
Students are hoping the paper sends a message to rid UVa Grounds of gay bashing, or any other hate crime. Many hope the incident does not start a trend.
"I am looking at it from that perspective in terms of what does this represent, and what can this bring," added Newton.
Tthe person who allegedly asked the two gay students to kiss was also contact by phone, and that person declined to comment.
UVa officials declined to comment by saying that this is a student matter which happened off grounds.