Noah Ratgen, an eighth grader at Minnesota’s Centennial High School, reported waking up to a hateful message scrawled on his family’s driveway after he came out about being gay on social media.
Ratgen came out on social media last fall. A week later, he woke up to the message “God hates fags” written on his driveway, according to Fox 9 News.
"It was absolutely disgusting. I went and washed it off right away,” said Noah’s father, Brad Ratgen. He said he's baffled by the hatred. "I just don't understand why we're such a big problem," he told Fox. “It hurt – just like calling someone fat or ugly. There’s no reason to do it at all.”
Noah’s mom, Carla Ratgen, said she hopes the bullying comes from “a few bad apples” and that her son will not continue to be a victim.
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The family reported the vandalism to the police, but no suspects have yet been identified.
Ratgen’s story came just a day after a teenager from the same high school, Ryan Eichenauer, reported receiving death threats after he posted a video on Facebook confessing that he was attracted to boys.
Centennial Superintendent Brian Dietz said the school is continuing to investigate the threatening letters, one of which allegedly read, "I can't wait for the day that I get to walk over your grave and if you don't put yourself there, I will be glad to. Just do us all a favor and do it soon. Kill yourself already."
"We take every threat seriously and investigate fully," Dietz said.
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The people behind the acts of hate against both students have been similarly scrupulous in hiding their identities.
"There's reason people do it anonymously," Brad Ratgen said. "They know it's wrong. They know it's hate-filled. No one wants to be associated. That's why they do it under the cover of darkness at night, why they leave a note on a desk at school."