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The BG News
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February 29, 2024

  • Danez Smith at AWP
    Richard Saker/Contour by Getty Images As we end Black History Month, here is one of my favorite poets, Danez Smith, who writes on intersectionality between their Black and Queer identities. At the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Kansas City, MO, I had the opportunity to personally meet Smith, and they are […]
  • Lying in Memoir
    Lauren Slater crafts diligent, depictive metaphors in narrative, and I hate her writing, simultaneously. Should there be lying in memoir? In her book, Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir (2000), Slater crafts lies from epilepsy to nunneries to doctor visits and proposed peer reviewed theses to AA meetings. However, within these lies, she allows us to question […]
Spring Housing Guide

Birthday prank leads to teen’s death

By Julie Carr Smyth The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A teenager who died at an Ohio church camp last spring was the victim of an asphyxiation prank that was little better than a lynching, alleged lawyers for the boy’s mother who have filed a civil rights claim.

James McCoy III, a member of Church of the Messiah in Westerville, was found hanging from a tree last April 22 in a remote area of Camp Cotubic, a Christian camp east of Bellefontaine where his youth group was on retreat. It was his 18th birthday.

News reports at the time said authorities were told McCoy had wandered off from the group and that his friends were confused and shocked by his death. A preliminary coroner’s report called it a suicide.

But a lawsuit filed Monday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court alleges the boy died as a result of his friends playing a choking game on him as a birthday prank.

The lawsuit, seeking $25,000 in damages, claims four unidentified youths gave false statements to authorities after the incident, leading officials to believe McCoy had been depressed and suicidal, and later created false writings.

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