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Football player who defended gay classmate gets two-day suspension

Mark Betterson was facing expulsion after incident

A football player at East Lee County (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) High School who came to the defense of an openly gay classmate last week was allowed to return to school Tuesday after originally facing expulsion.

Mark Betterson got into a fight with James Bernard Griffin after watching Griffin attack Jonathan Colon in the school cafeteria on Thursday. Griffin was arrested on battery charges after throwing bread and milk at Colon, yelling homosexual slurs at him and punching him in the face and back of the head. Griffin told ABC 7 that Colon provoked him.

"Bullying isn't called for, and everyone should be respected for what they want to be and what they want to do," Betterson told NBC 2.

According to school rules, Betterson was suspended for being involved in a fight. Colon led other students in protesting Betterson's suspension on Friday.

“I was protected by someone who had no reason to protect me,” Colon told WINK News. “We have nothing in common – he’s on the football team and I’m the flamboyant gay boy.“



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