In the Globe and Mail today, news that Ghyslain "Star Wars Kid" Raza and parents have settled their lawsuit against school bullies who released the infamous video onto the interwebs. As Ghyslain Raza recalled, whenever he walked by his high school's common areas, other students would jump on tables and chant, "Star Wars Kid! Star Wars Kid!" There would be a commotion as they shouted and poked at him, trying to get a reaction. "It was simply unbearable," he said. I feel for the Star Wars Kid, but if anything I'd think he'd enjoy his fame. It just seems wrong for the Star Wars Kid to earn thousands of dollars at the expense of some classmates who were simply expressing their First Amendment right to free speech. Anyway, here's an excerpt:
Under questioning, Mr. Laflamme and Mr. Rheault conceded their role in spreading a video that Mr. Raza, then 15, had made of himself and left on a shelf in the school TV studio. Mr. Laflamme said he discovered the tape in April of 2003, when he took school equipment to film a varsity football game. He showed the tape to Mr. Rheault, who made a copy of it.
"I thought it'd be an interesting prank . . . I wanted Ghyslain to know what I knew of him, what I had seen," Mr. Laflamme said. "All I did was take the cassette, digitize it on the studio computer to pull a joke on Ghyslain. After that, I had nothing to do with it," Mr. Rheault said he later told the school principal after the controversy erupted.
He said that when a school counsellor confronted him about Mr. Raza's misfortunes, he replied, "It's no fun what happened here, but that's the problem with the Internet. Things travel fast."