The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 8, 2009

UPDATE: GCC student suspended for off-campus participation in online gay porn

(Continued)



A GCC student, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he witnessed first-hand the hostility toward Gechter.

“The response from campus was basically total shock,” the student said. “The majority of students here are vehemently opposed to homosexuality, and I have even personally seen a (student) throw fruit at him. The school’s intolerance has become more pronounced because of this incident.”

Gechter was well-known on campus even before the news broke, according to the student. Gechter served on the staff of the Collegian, GCC’s student newspaper, for three years Ð two as a photographer and one as photo editor and also donated more than 15,000 pictures to the Grove City Admissions office, according to his attorney.

Gechter said he hasn’t consistently attended class in the last two weeks since he appealed the indefinite suspension.

“I did have apprehension going on campus since I get many looks and stares,” he admitted. “Hate mail is bad, but what if a bigoted prejudice group want to do something worse?”

While Ms. Clingensmith couldn’t confirm that Gechter hasn’t been attending classes, she added that faculty and staff have seen him eating in the cafeteria and working out in the gym. “If he felt that threatened, he would not go to these things,” she said.

Gechter said he is considering filing suit against GCC, as well as the students who harassed him. “The next step is to sue the school for damages,” he said. “I also plan to sue individual students who sent me e-mails for defamation of character and slander.”

While being on campus may have been tough, Gechter said the most difficult thing was telling his parents about his involvement in gay pornography.

“That was the most difficult phone call I’ve ever had to make,” he admitted. “My mom practically disowned me. It was so hard since your family is the people you care about most and you don’t want to disappoint them.”

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