Mitt Romney - High School Bullying

Last Updated : Aug 23, 2012

Summary

In May of 2012, the Washington Post ran an article detailing several incidents of pranks pulled by Mitt Romney on students and teachers while he was attending a private boarding school. The primary incident described was one in which a 17 year old Romney led a group of students in forcibly cutting the hair of a fellow student whom Romney had deemed had an inappropriate hair cut. Governor Romney has since admitted to carrying out several pranks in high school, but claims to have no memory of the incident in question.

Description of Incident

The article described the major incident of bullying by asserting that Mitt Romney returned to his private school for his senior year and noticed a new student named John Lauber who was one year his junior and had long hair that hung in his face and was dyed blonde. The article states that he was presumed to be homosexual, but does not explain that presumption.

The article cites four high friends of Romney who claim that he declared that Mr Lauber simply could not appear that way at the school. According to those friends, Romney led a "posse" of people who tackled Mr Lauber in the student dorm, held him down, and then trimmed his hair. Mr Lauber disappeared for a few days only to reappear with a "normal" hair cut and color.

While the article admits that the students whose statements supply the story are all Democrats and that at least one volunteered for Obama in 2008, it also asserts that those other students who assisted in the incident are very remorseful today and still troubled by those events. One person involved in the incident claims that he encountered Mr Lauber in an airport in the mid 1990's and expressed remorse over the events to him. He claimed that Mr Lauber still remembered the incident as an adult and was troubled by it. Mr Lauber passed away in 2005.

Other Incidents

Other incidents are also listed in the article as an example of Romney's pranks. In one such incident, Romney and other students removed the wheels from the automobile of a teacher with poor vision and replacing them with 2x4s. The students then laughed when that teacher was confused as to why his car would not move. Another incident involved Romney himself opening one set of doors for that same teacher only to gesture him to go through the next set of doors that he had failed to open and then watching as he walked into the doors.

Another incident involved a man who now claims to be gay and was still closeted in those days. He asserts that each time he would speak in class, Mitt Romney would should "atta girl."

Romey Apologizes for Pranks

The day after the article in the Washington Post, Governor Romney appeared on Fox News Radio and discused the accustions. He asserted that he did not remember the incident in question and he acknowledged playing pranks and apologized if they got out of hand. He also stated that he had no idea that the people in question were homosexual and that sort of thing would not have been on people's minds.

Timing of Report

On May 9, 2012 President Obama came out in support of gay marriage. The fact that this article was published the following day, and paints Governor Romney anti-homosexual, was viewed by critics as evidence that the story had been specifically used as a mechanism to support President Obama's statements. 

 

Romney Apology

On May 10, 2012 Governor Romney appeared on Fox News Radio and discussed the Washington Post Article. He apologized for any offense or prank that went too far. He also stated that he had no memory of the hair cutting incident and that the assertion that he viewed the man differently because he may have been gay is absurd.

 

References

[1] Website: The Washington Post Article: Mitt Romney’s prep school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents Author: Jason Horowitz Accessed on: 08/23/2012

[2] Website: The Washington Post Article: Mitt Romney apologizes for high school pranks that ‘might have gone too far’ Author: Philip Rucker Accessed on: 08/23/2012

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