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Advocate for Fighting Back Against Bullies Speaks at S.J. Quinney College of Law

Guest speaker Jamie Nabozny.

April 12, 2012—He was attacked throughout his young life at school because he was gay, but Jamie Nabozny didn’t let the abuse ruin his life. He fought back. Nabozny will tell his story Monday, April 16, 12:15 p.m., at the S. J. Quinney College of Law’s Sutherland Moot Courtroom in an event sponsored by the Outlaws student group.

Nabozny grew up in a small Wisconsin town and was bullied for being gay, but later won a landmark federal lawsuit against his school administrators for failing to stop the harassment.

In his address, Nabozny will discuss being a consumer of law and address topics such as when to file a lawsuit and what it is like to testify in federal court. There also will be a question-and-answer session, and lunch will be provided to attendees.

As Nabozny tells it: “Throughout my middle school and high school years, I was verbally and physically bullied for being gay. With the help of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, I fought back.  I won a landmark federal lawsuit against my school administrators and I now speak out for the millions of kids bullied in our schools every day.  I share my story and consult with schools to make sure what happened to me is never repeated.”

Nabozny grew up in Ashland, a small town in northern Wisconsin on the south shore of Lake Superior where the bullying first took place. The years of harassment ended with a beating that put him in the hospital and required abdominal surgery. He then moved to Minneapolis and realized that many other young people endured similar fates, and that’s when he made a decision to try to do something to stand up for himself.

Nabozny won his federal suit, establishing that all young people – including those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered – deserve a safe educational experience. The Southern Poverty Law Center produced a documentary titled “Bullied” that chronicles his life. Nabozny recently was named a Defender of Human Rights by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

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