A public high school principal in Memphis, Tennessee, outed a pair of gay male students—to their teachers, classmates, and parents—after she found out that they were a couple. The principal also called the mother of one of the boys to tell her that she, “didn’t like gay people and wouldn’t tolerate homosexuality at her school,” and posted the names of the boys on a publicly posted list of known students couples in order to prevent public displays of affection, “hetero and homo.”
In Tuesday’s letter to the Memphis City Schools Board of Commissioners, the ACLU points out that the principal ordered the boys not to even walk or study together at school.
Emails of the school board and principal:
The Board of Commisioners:
My response that I emailed them:
What you did to those two gay students of yours is absolutely shameful. I am appalled at the lack of compassion, empathy, and judgment that went into such a flagrant violation of the relationship between the student and the school. By outing the students, you intended them to be subjected to harassment, hoped for them to be shamed, and misused your authority. What you succeeded in doing is contributing to the long and storied history of oppression that GLBT people face in our society and others–and I am proud of those kids for standing up to you instead of internalizing what you did, which decades of young GLBT people have done. I am proud of them because they’re not letting you lead to depression or suicide. I am proud of them because they have taken what you thought would shame them and turned it into something that is shameful for you.
I am horrified that you hold such an advanced position in educating our youth.
(just a sidenote: that list in general strikes me as strange and overly, um, zealous on the part of administrators.)