A bisexual teen has been targeted in a vicious harassment campaign by thugs who’ve blown up his family mailbox and threatened to sexually assault him with an “AK” gun.
Shawna Murdoch of Bonneville County, Idaho, says her son has dealt with bullying since the sixth grade, but it became much worse over the last year after he came out as bisexual.
At school the 16-year-old was physically attacked by bullies, pelted with homophobic slurs and tormented by rumours, eventually forcing him to withdraw from classes altogether.
But the relentless harassment has continued at home through anonymous phone calls and messages, including one chilling text from someone who threatened to sexually assault him with an “AK”, presumably an AK-47 rifle.
“I saw a comment [online] that kids should wait until adulthood before coming out. I don’t know if waiting would have changed anything for my son,” Shawna told PinkNews.
“His peers obviously noticed the difference in him at nine years old. Even with him denying it, he was horribly bullied and mistreated. The problem isn’t my son coming out. The problem is children are taught that it’s OK to bully and mistreat people.”
Bisexual son targeted with threatening calls
After leaving school Shawna’s son is now working towards his GED, but the violence has followed him wherever he goes.
“He came out almost a year ago and he has received unbelievable harassment and mistreatment in our community, and it just seems to continue no matter what we do,” she told East Idaho News.
The abuse has even extended to the family property, with the thugs destroying their mailbox three times in less than a year.
The worst attack came just last week, when Shawna and her husband were sitting at home at around 10pm. They suddenly heard an explosion outside as their mailbox was blown apart by fireworks.
“We’re at a loss as to what to do, but this latest attack was way too dangerous,” Shawna said. “I feel extremely violated. I don’t know who we can trust,” she added to East Idaho News.
The family’s home surveillance cameras caught part of the explosion but not the culprits, though neighbours saw a car of kids driving away.
Shawna and her son previously spoke to local media on the condition of anonymity, but after the latest incident, they’re “past the point of caring”.
“The bullying hasn’t let up no matter what we do, so I guess we’re at the point of no longer caring about keeping a low profile since the bullies won’t quit even if we did,” she said.
“My son has very few friends because he doesn’t know who he can trust, and messes with absolutely no one. But it hasn’t let up and it’s only escalating. The police do absolutely nothing to put a stop to it.”
Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt Bryan Lovell confirmed to East Idaho News that police are currently investigating the vandalism and gathering descriptions of the type of vehicles that were involved.
“We’re looking at a vandalism or malicious injury to property type of case. If it would have started a fire or a wildfire, there could be criminal charges associated with that tied to using fireworks,” he said.
The area is already at high risk of wildfires, and the Murdoch house in particular is surrounded by tall grass and located down a hill. “It’s a miracle that things didn’t catch fire,” the mother told the local paper.
“We care for disabled adults and they were all asleep. [I was thinking] how am I going to get them out? This could have literally killed them.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to report it to the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 529-1200.
“We shouldn’t have to live like this,” Shawna said. “This is my home. This is my property.”