Education

‘I Started A Whole Fake Hate-Crime Thing… So I Didn’t Have To Do My Homework’

Robby Soave Reporter

The perpetrator of an infamous, decade old hate-crime hoax recently explained her motivation for deceiving friends, teachers and local police into believing that she was being terrorized by anti-gay bigots.

The woman told Buzzfeed’s Sandra Allen that she was really just looking for an excuse to not do her homework.

“I started a whole fake hate-crime thing with the police so I didn’t have to do my homework,” said the woman.

The incidents happened more than 10 years ago. The woman, who is unnamed in Buzzfeed’s interview, was a 17-year-old student at Tamalpais High School in Marin County, California in 2004. She was out as a lesbian, and ran the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance group, seemingly making her a target of an anti-gay tormenter who scrawled insults on her car and locker. She also received death threats.

The community banded together to support her, holding rallies and vigils. Her friends and family supported her.

But then, several closeted gay teachers at Tamalpais were also targeted, and the police became involved. Authorities eventually determined that the victim was in fact the perpetrator. She had written the obscenities and called in the death threats herself.

The community was shocked. Her friends broke off all communication with her.

But Allen, who had known the woman, always wondered the truth. Now, she has an answer, of sorts:

“It’s the fucking stupidest thing,” she says. We’re sitting in a crowded family-friendly restaurant in a strip mall in the suburb where she now lives, on a Sunday morning. “I had a whole bunch of homework to do and I hadn’t done it. None of it. Hadn’t read anything, hadn’t done the notes. I don’t remember what the assignment was, but it was something that we had a week or two to do and I hadn’t done any of it. So I broke into the locker room and I graffitied my locker. Then the first or second period of the day, they called me out of the office, they said, ‘You can go home if you want to.’ I was like, Sweet. I went home and did my homework.” …

Each time she committed another crime, she says, “It was a little like pressure-release valve.”

“Imagine someone was like, ‘You have zero responsibility now.’” In her voice, I can still hear a glimmer of how incredible she found this effect. She could go to school if she wanted. She could still play sports. Her mom, friends, teachers, and coaches rallied around her, told her how much they loved her: “All that shit that you just wish somebody would have said without there being an explicit reason to.”

She hadn’t anticipated the community being so supportive. She didn’t want the candles, the fliers, the ribbons. She recalls lying on the floor of a classroom as the vigil was starting, not wanting to go. “I was convincing myself that nobody was really being affected by this. I remember feeling it was very victimless, which I now recognize was obviously not true.”

She says she wasn’t thinking about what she was doing in terms of the long-term consequences. She didn’t have some fake person in her imagination who was committing these crimes; she knew on some level that this scenario was becoming less and less believable. She took precautions not to get caught but didn’t imagine what it’d be like when she was arrested. “That’s the level of the hubris that I was working under.”

She targeted the teachers in order to escalate the threats to make them seem more plausible, she said. She also want to out teachers who were still in the closet, although she now recognizes what a bad strategy that was.

The article notes that she had an alcohol problem and considered suicide at least once.

She eventually became a science teacher.

Daily Caller readers are familiar with the fake bias incidents that plague high school and college campuses. It is rare to receive such a candid explanation from a perpetrator, however. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Shocking discovery in hoax bias incident at Vassar College)

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