By:Michelle McQuigge,The Canadian Press
TORONTO –David Jason was in Grade 4 when the bullying began.
His self-described feminine mannerisms and “high,squeaky”voice attracted the attention of his classmates who began to ask him why he was gay.
By Grade 6,those classmates had graduated to hurling homophobic slurs,with “faggot”being the most common.
The next two years saw Jason’s enthusiasm for academics wane under the stress of the escalating verbal taunts and occasional physical harassment from his peers.French class was the scene of constant muttering,and the back of his head became a frequent target for balls of paper and other projectiles.
He transferred to a school well outside his Toronto neighbourhood in the hope of getting a fresh start,but encountered only new tormentors and staff who turned a blind eye when he was heckled or shoved into lockers.