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Gay Student Says He Was Bullied For 6 Years, Fairfax County School System Failed To Help

10:17 PM, May 24, 2011   |    comments
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FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WUSA) -- A young Fairfax County man is speaking publicly for the first time about his years of torment inside the Fairfax County public school system.

Dan Webb says he's sharing his painful story to help spread awareness of bullying, including harassment based on sexual preference.

Asked if he felt safe attending West Springfield High School, where he graduated in 2009, Webb replied, "No. Not once. I felt terrified for my life."

In fact, he says all of his middle and high school years in Fairfax County were destroyed by bullies.

"It hurt me so bad emotionally. I'd come home crying. I'd get home off the school bus and just start bawling my eyes out when I got to the front door," he said.

At West Springfield High School, Dan says his tormentors slapped and groped him in the locker rooms, and even shoved him to the ground. But most of the daily pain they inflicted didn't leave bruises.

He said, "They would yell 'faggot,' 'you're gay,' 'why are you so gay,' 'why do you like men?'"

Perhaps most devastating of all: no one in the school system would help him. His mother says she met with administrators, counselors and teachers at least 20 times, but the harassment continued.

"I had threats. People telling me I shouldn't be living. I shouldn't be at this school. I don't belong," said Webb.

When Fairfax County eventually offered Dan a transfer, he says it was for a slot in special education classes at another school. His family declined. And he considered suicide.

"I don't think I could get any lower than I got," he said. "What should have been the best time of my life was the absolute worst."

With the support of his family, Dan got help. Today, he is 20-years-old and slowly reassembling the pieces of a life shattered by bullying.

"It will scar you for life. You can move past it, but it scars you for life," he said.

Officials with the Fairfax County School system wouldn't discuss his case, but said they do have anti-bullying programs in the curriculum. The Webb family tried to get Dan's records from West Springfield High School to show 9NEWS NOW, but were told the school only keeps shot records and grades--nothing related to the family's many efforts to get help.

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