While At A School Board Meeting, A Man Called Out His Alleged Junior High Bully, The Superintendent

"Lance, you were the one that shoved my head in the urinal."

It was regular school board meeting for the Katy Independent School District until Gregory Gay came forward.  Gay approached the microphone in an almost entirely empty room and began to speak about his experience being bullied in junior high school. But there was a twist: the man who he accused of bullying him was sitting right in front of him. His alleged bully was Dr. Lance Hindt — and he is now the superintendent of the school district.

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"I was bullied. Unbelievably bullied," Gay said during the meeting. "I started out and I had teachers that bullied me, I had kids that bullied me, even the coaches. I had nobody to turn to."

Gay said that one day, he was beaten up and had his head shoved into a urinal. He tried to tell teachers and administrators at the school, he said, but nobody helped him. Afterward, he said, he went home and put a gun in his mouth, although he did not, in the end, kill himself.

Then he gestured at Hindt — "Lance, you were the one that shoved my head in the urinal."

After a brief stunned silence in the room, uncomfortable laughter came from school board seats where Hindt and other board members were sitting. 

"This is unbelievable," Hindt is seen saying in a recording of the meeting.

Hindt didn't otherwise directly respond to Gay's allegations in the widely circulated video of the meeting's interaction.

While there weren't many attendees at the board meeting, the story has quickly gone viral. Gay's story was covered by local news stations all over Texas, and eventually even reported on by The Washington Post. In an interview with A Plus, Gay — who started going by the last name Barrett because of the bullying he experienced — explained that he decided to tell his story after seeing someone post on Facebook about their son being bullied in the Katy Independent School District.

"I thought it's time to come forward and try and get Lance to fix the problem with bullying in the school district," Gay told A Plus. "I was hoping they would make policy changes and make the penalties more severe for bullies. I was shocked.  He is a man who has earned a doctor's degree in education and he can't even say he was sorry this happened to me but he does not remember it? Shocking and [disappointing]."

After video of the meeting began to take off locally, Hindt responded in a public statement that denied that he bullied Gay. But others have corroborated Gay's version of events. Christopher Dolan, who went to school with Dr. Hindt and Gay, told several news outlets he witnessed the specific incident Gay referenced and described Hindt to ABC 13 as a junior high "bully [who] let people know that he was in charge."

Gay says others have come forward too, including an alumnus of the junior high school who is now a federal judge. But Hindt has denied all the allegations.

On Tuesday night, the story took an even more shocking turn: KHOU reported that previously undisclosed records show Hindt was once sued for putting a man into a coma during a fight when he was 18 years old. A 1983 lawsuit said that Hindt was driving home from a party when a man yelled at him to stop speeding, and he allegedly responded by getting out of the car and beating the man into a coma. At the time, Hindt responded to the lawsuit by claiming that the man, named William Stein, pulled him from the car by his hair and Dr. Hindt retaliated by punching him one time. The case was eventually settled without any criminal charges. 

Since news of the lawsuit surfaced, the school board has continued to stand behind Hindt. In a statement distributed to local news stations, the district noted that no criminal charges were ever filed and insisted that it continues "to stand firmly behind him as our superintendent."

Meanwhile, a petition for Hindt to resign as superintendent has received over 1,100 signatures.

"I have supported Lance in keeping his job through all this," Gay said. "Now I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing."

 Gay hopes his story helps teach kids who are bullied how to handle what happens to them at school.

"I think my message to other kids being bullied is to reach out to teachers, counselors, whoever they can, for help," Gay said. "And never ever give up. If one teacher ignores you, try another until they find help. That is so important they don't give up."

Since the video took off, Gay said he has received messages of support from all over the country. He said the outpouring of support has been humbling, and he's hoping other kids who have been bullied see his story has motivation not to let the bullies win.

"I hope they know when they see my story that I almost gave up," Gay said. "But I'm sure glad now I did not. Life has been great to me."

A Plus has reached out to Hindt for comment.

Cover image via Philip Arno / Shutterstock..

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