This is absolutely horrific. And DISGUSTING.
How on Earth are we supposed to teach our youth to stop bullying if our school ADMINISTRATORS can't even do the same?!
Chris Sigler, a 17-year-old senior at Sequoyah High School in Tennessee, was apparently shoved and verbally harrassed by his own PRINCIPAL last week after he refused to take off a shirt that he had made promoting the establishment of a gay-straight alliance club on campus!
Principal Maurice Moser has apparently threatened to punish students attempting to circulating petitions about the club, and when Sigler wore a homemade T-shirt to school that read: GSA: We've Got Your Back, he was asked to take it off. The young man knew that he had a right to wear it, so he did on the following Friday, and this time refused to take it off.
Moser reportedly then ordered everyone out of the classroom, with the exception of Sigler's sister, who refused to leave, and according to both of them, grabbed Sigler's arm, repeated bumped him in the chest while screaming “Who’s the big man now?” and shoved him. When Sigler's mother arrived at the school, she saw him seated at a desk with Moser screaming directly into his face. They immediately filed a report with the local Sherriff's department.
Check out a news report regarding the situation BEFORE it escalated to this degree (above)!
Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, says:
“It is totally unacceptable that a young man who was peacefully exercising his First Amendment rights would have his speech shut down by the public school principal. Last week’s incident clearly illustrates the hostile environment LGBT students face at Sequoyah High School. Given this context, it’s especially important that supportive voices like Sigler’s can be heard in order to overcome the school’s resistance to a GSA.”
And Sigler agrees:
“All I want is to have a GSA at my school to help stop the bullying against gays and lesbians and their friends who support them. The shirt was a way to use my voice and show my support for the club. The way I was treated shows even more why we need a GSA here.”
And Amanda Goad, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, concludes:
“All students deserve a safe and respectful learning environment. Harassment, abuse or censorship of any student – regardless of sexual orientation – is absolutely reprehensible as well as illegal. We expect the police to investigate this quickly and fairly, and take statements from all witnesses who were present.”
It's awful enough that this school system can attempt to disguise its own bigotry and hate under policy guidelines in order to avoid allowing the GSA, but to allow an OFFICIAL to treat a student like that, regardless of what he did, let alone it be over a t-shirt, is absolutely DEPLORABLE!
That man needs to be FIRED. Immediately!
Anyone with that much anger and hatred should not be allowed near young people, let alone teaching them!
And we wonder why these kids feel like they have no where to turn!
Enough is enough! This ENDS now!
Stay strong, you guys! You're doing the right thing, and you have our support!
EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL!
Tags: aclu, amanda goad, assault, awful, chris sigler, denied, deplorable, disgusting, executive director, gay straight alliance, harrass, hedy weinberg, legal matters, principal maurice moser, promotion, sequoyah high school, student, tennessee, unacceptable, verbal harassment