Memphis principal outs gay students

Less than a week after the annual Day of Silence action, a principal in Memphis displayed a list of couples in the high school — including gay couples, outing some of the students. The ACLU is suing the school on behalf of two of the students.

In September of 2007, the principal at Hollis F. Price Middle College High told teachers she wanted the names of all student couples, “hetero and homo,” because she wanted to monitor them personally to prevent students from engaging in public displays of affection. The two students now represented by the ACLU, Andrew and Nicholas (who have asked that their last names not be revealed), were two A students who had been seeing each other for a short time and were attempting to keep their relationship quiet and private. The principal heard about them through another student, then wrote their names on a list she posted next to her desk, in full view of anyone who entered her office.

ABC News reports,

“I really feel that my personal privacy was invaded,” Nicholas, one of the young men who claims his sexuality was exposed without his approval by his principal, told ABC News’ Memphis affiliate Eyewitness News Everywhere. “I mean, Principal Beasley called my mother and outted me to my mother!”
“It was actually frightening,” Nicholas said of the incident, which occurred in Fall 2007, “to see a list with my name on it where not just other teachers could see but students as well.”

Of course it was frightening, giving recent events like the murder of 15-year-old Lawrence King, who was killed by a classmate because he was non-gender-conforming. And a recent report shows anti-gay hate crimes remain a big problem in Tennessee.
The principal, Daphne Beasley, says she made the list of couples in an effort to combat public displays of affection. (Related news this week: Some people are so upset by gay couples kissing in public that they think it’s necessary to involve the police.) Beasley claims it was a “personal call list” used to notify parents (which, hello!, is problematic in itself), and it was never posted publicly. But the ACLU says the list was highly visible in her office.

[ACLU lawyer Christine] Sun, who told ABCNEWS.com that she believes the Memphis school district to be “homophobic,” said that Nicholas’ mother — who was “shocked” to hear that her son is gay — reported that Beasley said she “had a problem with homosexuality” and that “homosexuality will not be tolerated.”

Advocates for Youth has issued an action alert, and is encouraging people to write to the Memphis City school board to demand that policies be implemented to protect students from future harassment by school staff.
For more on making schools a safe space for students of all sexualities and gender presentations, check out GLSEN. GenderYOUTH also does great work, and right now they’re conducting a survey of how schools and campuses are doing in terms of prohibiting discrimination and promoting awareness of gender identity and expression. Click here to tell them what’s going on at your school.

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45 Comments

  1. Posted May 2, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    come to my site i have contact info for the principal as well as the school board, lets not let them get away with this
    http://www.queersunited.blogspot.com

  2. Posted May 2, 2008 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Wow.
    I really don’t know what else to say.

  3. Destra
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m actually more upset at the list of couples who might break school rules (profiling) than the inclusion of the homosexual boys on the list. The principal really should have handled the situation better.

  4. Leah Stone
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    This is another reason why I’m pretty much terrified to come out at school. These poor kids must feel horrible. I can only hope things work out for them and this doesn’t become a tragedy.

  5. Leah Stone
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    This is another reason why I’m pretty much terrified to come out at school. These poor kids must feel horrible. I can only hope things work out for them and this doesn’t become a tragedy.

  6. manda
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    The generally anti-GLBT stance in most Tennessee schools is frightening, and I’m really scared for the students and their privacy. I recently finished my middle school student teaching placement and one of the students I got really close to was gay. When he realized I knew, he almost started crying begging me not to tell anyone because he wasn’t sure if his parents could handle it and he didn’t want to be targeted by students and other teachers.
    If a 14 year-old boy recognizes that his safety might be in danger if the other people at his school found out about his sexuality, then a fucking principal should be aware too. The bottom line is that she put these students in danger of harassment or worse with her little list.
    And on a side note, what a fucking amazing school this must be if the principal has enough time to focus on something so trivial. No academic deficiencies, no staffing or funding needs, no special programs that need to be tweaked… all that’s left to do is focus on who might be holding hands in the hallway. Maybe they can let us in Chattanooga know what they’re doing because our schools have some serious shit to deal with.

  7. Posted May 2, 2008 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Destra–no doubt. The gay students def. got hit harder by it, but it’s ridiculous that school administrators would be pulling that stasi bullshit on any students.
    I’d also point out that straight students also have a right to keep their relationships/orientation/preferences/sexual activity private. The school shouldn’t be doing this to anyone.

  8. lyndorr
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Wow, my thought when I saw two girls kissing at celebrations in the park a couple days ago? It’s so nice they feel comfortable and safe enough to do that around all these people (this is in Sweden). I wouldn’t do that with my boyfriend. I used to not be a fan of PDA by anyone but now I just think it’s nice they are in love.
    But wow, this sounds even worse when you read the article. Homosexuality won’t be tolerated?? I forget overt/explicit homophobia exists usually since I don’t see it.

  9. rileystclair
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    as appalling as the outing part alone is, this is really just an example of a culture of parental hovering and blatant disregard of any autonomy teenagers possess. there are plenty of reasons parents should want to know about what’s going on in the lives of their teenage offspring and i’m all for encouraging good communication. that said, i think parents these days try to maintain too much control and pry too much into every minute detail of their childrens’ lives and that ends up being to the childrens’ detriment, not the opposite. learning how and in what contexts to let go is an important part of parenting as your child gets older. high school students do have some reasonable expectations of privacy with regard to extremely personal issues and for a school to out them to their parents is cruel and beyond disrespectful. same goes for the list of couples generally.

  10. FeDhu
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I have to say I hold in contempt any teacher who shared the names of couples, especially the ‘homo’ ones. I’m a substitute and at the two school districts I sub at, I know of quite a few LGBT students and couples. If asked, I will deny all knowledge because it is no one’s business but the students.
    As for PDAs…jeez, just walk down the hallway and pay attention to the kids, it’s not that hard. You don’t need a list for that.
    I actually keep more of an eye out for boys fighting or harassing their classmates (either girls or boys who aren’t as strong or protected in the pecking order) than I do kissing or touching.

  11. Mina
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    “Wow, I have to say I hold in contempt any teacher who shared the names of couples, especially the ‘homo’ ones.”
    Indeed. It puts the gay kids at higher risk of gay-bashing, could put some of the straight girls at higher risk of “honor” killing, etc.
    “I’m actually more upset at the list of couples who might break school rules (profiling)”
    That part was mind-boggling. Are they trying to enforce a rule against kissing in the hallway, or allow kids to kiss in the hallway as long as they’re not kissing whomever they’re dating?

  12. tinfoil hattie
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Andrew and Nicholas … were two A students
    What fucking difference does it make what their grades are? “Oh, these are fine upstanding smart homosexuals, not like those dumb D students we don’t need to feel sorry for.”

  13. manda
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    You know, I also have to worry about students who might be keeping interracial relationships secret from their parents. There are still a lot of people who have a problem with the idea of their child dating outside his/her race (which is exactly why those Bob Corker commercials were so successful). I knew several girls who were afraid their parents might find out about their non-white boyfriends, and one had several teeth knocked loose when her father found she was dating an African-American classmate.
    I really don’t understand how anyone – let alone a principal – could be so irresponsible.

  14. Whitemore
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    The persecution of these boys is horrible, but I have to question the principal’s logic a little further. So, she needs a list of student couples so that she can watch and catch them in public displays of affection? Wouldn’t the PUBLIC aspect of that particular infraction be identification enough? And, do cheating or one-lunchbreak-stand couples get a pass?

  15. Faerylore
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    This is the perfect situation for a kissing protest.

  16. SociologicalMom
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I was in a classroom recently where a teaching exercise almost inadvertently forced a number of gay students to out themselves to the entire class of 70. The professor involved wouldn’t dream of doing anything similar on the basis of race or gender, but has yet to understand that GLBTQ issues are equally important, if not more so in certain situations. Are there sensitivity programs or training materials out there for this kind of thing?
    Also- good point, Manda. I just finished grading a college level research exercise for which several students simulated an interracial date and wrote down the reactions they got from the public- they were unpleasant, to say the least. This is definitely still an issue.

  17. SociologicalMom
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Or I could actually read all the way to the end of the post. Sorry! It’s been a long week. Thanks for posting that info as well.

  18. AnnaSoror
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    What. The. Fuck???
    How could anyone think this was a good idea? How the hell was she going to “personally monitor” these couples? And calling the parents? She knew exactly what she was doing–nobody’s that clueless. This woman should be fired, but of course the school board is supporting her.
    And the comments on the ABC article…really, I think some people post outrageously inflammatory things just to get attention. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

  19. flannery
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Im with you tinfoil hattie including the students grades was completely unecessary. Why is that members of any oppressed group have to be perfect human beings in order for us to care about their problems?

  20. zombietalk
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    Wow, that’s totally uncalled for. I can’t even follow the principal’s LOGIC. Why would such a list need to exist? Wouldn’t the very nature of public displays of affections being PUBLIC be able to out students doing it? If she wanted to make sure PDAs weren’t a constant for couples, wouldn’t the record of disciplinary actions serve this purpose?
    I’m disgusted that the Memphis City School District is standing by this. Even if the list wasn’t public, the very NERVE of outing students to their parents! Don’t they realize how potentially dangerous that could be?

  21. Destra
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    to tinfoil hattie and flannery:
    The mention of the grades was not meant to imply that those students with lower grades deserve less attention. The point was to show that these two boys were A students and therefore probably not trouble makers, and the principal wouldn’t have any other legit reason to have their names on a list (like, say, a list of boys that have a history of fighting in the halls).

  22. BluePencils
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I think they mentioned the boys’ grades to show that they had no other reason to be on the principal’s radar. Which isn’t true of course, I remember my high school assistant principal saying to me once, very tiredly, “What is it today? Getting another award or cutting again?” I, uh, cut school a lot. Anyway, I think the other students’ names were a smokescreen, this principal wanted to find out who the gays were in her school. Possibly the inter-racial couples, too. There’s no way to prevent PDA by having a list of student couples, high school relationships often last about three weeks, and everyone knows the long-term couples. I hope that principal loses her job–I also hope someone prints the details of her personal life in the newspaper.

  23. Spider Jerusalem
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    1) They didn’t just name the kids’ grades, but their race too. In a different article, one of the boys’ mothers is quoted as saying “A black man has enough problems in this world without the school doing something like this.” Also, the kids’ grades matter because their academic performance is what was injured in this whole thing, namely one of the boys was kicked off of a project he was heading because of this. He lost an academic opportunity he had been chosen for as most-qualified because of who his boyfriend is. RTFA.
    2) The school has 150 students and has a special academic program, so no, she literally has nothing better to do than harass students.

  24. Xana
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Both of these young men are also black so there is definitely an intersection of racism and homophobia at work here.
    My heart goes out to these two young men. If I had been outed in high school I would have ended up with a keyed car and threatening graffiti and no support from the administration. I hope they win their case against the school.

  25. piotrek
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I think that the principal overdosed on “Pink Floyds” and decided to (re-?)-anact “The Trial”:
    Good morning, Worm your honor.
    The crown will plainly show
    The prisoner who now stands before you
    Was caught red-handed showing feelings
    Showing feelings of an almost human nature.
    This will not do.
    Call the schoolmaster!

  26. Indigirka
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    These students “outed” themselves by telling other students! IMO, that makes them fair game for this attempt to root out PDA.

  27. shermanvolvo
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    [i] These students “outed” themselves by telling other students! IMO, that makes them fair game for this attempt to root out PDA.[/i]
    Surely this is a joke. So by this logic if I consent to having sex with party A, I have also consented to sex with party B?

  28. Indigirka
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    “Surely this is a joke. So by this logic if I consent to having sex with party A, I have also consented to sex with party B?”
    ^ Erroneous analogy. Someone these kids told clearly “consented” to let the principal know (or “consented” to let someone know who would tell), and there’s always a possibility of this. Thus, they consented to tell people who might possibly tell someone in authority. If they wanted to keep it a secret, they should have done just that. But in the first place, we shouldn’t privilege minors’ freedom to be in secret relationships over a comprehensive attempt to enforce standards of appropriate behavior.

  29. ellestar
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    But in the first place, we shouldn’t privilege minors’ freedom to be in secret relationships over a comprehensive attempt to enforce standards of appropriate behavior.
    Enforcing standards of appropriate behavior is one thing, outing students in a potentially hazardous environment is quite another.
    I have no problem if teachers or administrators saw PDA and asked the couple, whether they be gay or straight, to stop. Having a hard copy of a list that includes gay students in an environment openly hostile to homosexuality is both inappropriate and has the potential to get into the hands of someone who plans to harm those they see as different in their community.
    On a scale of 1 to 10 of problems that need facing in high school, I’d put PDA at a 2 while homophobia and hostility towards gay students at a 10. The list may solve PDA (which I personally find doubtful in any case), but at the expense of a far worse problem.

  30. ellestar
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    But in the first place, we shouldn’t privilege minors’ freedom to be in secret relationships over a comprehensive attempt to enforce standards of appropriate behavior.
    Enforcing standards of appropriate behavior is one thing, outing students in a potentially hazardous environment is quite another.
    I have no problem if teachers or administrators saw PDA and asked the couple, whether they be gay or straight, to stop. Having a hard copy of a list that includes gay students in an environment openly hostile to homosexuality is both inappropriate and has the potential to get into the hands of someone who plans to harm those they see as different in their community.
    On a scale of 1 to 10 of problems that need facing in high school, I’d put PDA at a 2 while homophobia and hostility towards gay students at a 10. The list may solve PDA (which I personally find doubtful in any case), but at the expense of a far worse problem.

  31. zombietalk
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Someone these kids told clearly “consented” to let the principal know (or “consented” to let someone know who would tell), and there’s always a possibility of this. Thus, they consented to tell people who might possibly tell someone in authority. If they wanted to keep it a secret, they should have done just that.
    According to the article, they were trying to keep it secret and a student told the principal. Because someone knew doesn’t mean that they necessarily consented to letting that person know. High schoolers have a knack for finding things out that aren’t their business and someone with something against one of the boys could have found this the perfection opportunity for humiliation. I would assume that if they consented to tell someone about their relationship, it was someone who wouldn’t have gone to the principal with this knowledge or it was someone the boys at least didn’t think would.
    Even if the boys did decide to tell someone, that doesn’t give the principal the right to help spread this knowledge throughout the entire school. The principal is the adult in this situation. She should have realized how damaging this piece of information could potentially be. A list that anyone who enters the principal’s office can see is dangerously irresponsible. Calling the parents and informing them of their child’s sexual orientation is even more so.

  32. manthd
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    I call troll on Indigirka. Nobody can seriously have that bad an understanding of consent. Stop feeding hir.
    Also, I want to see Principal Beasly convicted of manslaughter when one of these young men gets beaten to death by some bigot.

  33. Indigirka
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    High school students generally aren’t telepaths, though. Barring that, how would someone they didn’t want to know find out unless the couple were obviously flaunting their relationship (which would make them part of the problem the principal was attacking), or someone they *had* told chose to let it slip? Moreover, this principal seems like she takes an active interest in the social climate at her school and her students as individuals, which means she probably knows her school better than you guys do. If she thought they would be in serious physical danger, she probably wouldn’t have done it in the first place. I disagree that PDA is always more of a problem in all schools than harassment of gays. It’s easy to get an entirely different impression from walking the halls of many US high schools. This may well be the case at Daphne Beasley’s school.
    But why are we even thinking in these terms? Why is it the school’s responsibility to keep these students’ secret (talk about being ‘too involved’ in children’s lives) due to harassment that could theoretically happen, rather than treat students equally? Moreover, school is not the only place they might experience consequences for open homosexual behavior and it could be argued that it’s harmful to shelter them from these realities in the school environment. If they flaunt a gay relationship later in life, they might well face more serious repercussions than getting their cars ‘keyed’. (Which, by the way, also happens to rich kids who drive expensive new cars to certain schools. If a principal at one of those schools decided to make a semi-public list of everyone at the school whose parents had x amount of money, it wouldn’t significantly hurt them any more than they’ve hurt themselves by announcing it simply by driving their new expensive cars. Same applies here.)
    Also: Calling me a ‘troll’ simply because I disagree on one issue doesn’t fit the definition of trolling (though I’m aware that the term trolling is sometimes inappropriately used to discredit an opposing opinion), and not all feminists are going to agree all the time. Diversity of opinions is good because debating keeps us on our toes for the real fights. :)

  34. Posted May 4, 2008 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    But why are we even thinking in these terms? Why is it the school’s responsibility to keep these students’ secret (talk about being ‘too involved’ in children’s lives) due to harassment that could theoretically happen, rather than treat students equally?
    No one is talking about “keeping it secret”. What we are talking about is what happened in this case, in which a principal took it upon herself to make a written, hardcopy list specifically identifying gay couples, and kept it in a visible area of her office.
    There isn’t a high school in the country where there isn’t at least some anti-GLBT activity going on, and, even if there were, I seriously doubt it would be found in Tennessee.
    It is one thing to assume that a principal knows her school better than we do. It is another thing to assume that a principal who makes a list that labels gay students as gay, effectively outing them, has nothing but the safety of her students in mind.

  35. deano99
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    “The principal heard about them through another student, then wrote their names on a list she posted next to her desk, in full view of anyone who entered her office.”
    Just incredible. Anyone who has been following the political direction of America knows that the country is going down the pan as paranoid citizens are increasingly encouraged to spy on each other, religious fundamentalism is on the increase and every populist right wing pundit bends the truth and stomps on the facts, delivering “news” and “information” that many Americans seem to lack the intelligence to dissect and debunk.

  36. lyndorr
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Yes, maybe they told a student they thought they could trust. Maybe they were seen together outside of school. Are they supposed to choose between revealing their relationship to no one or everyone.
    You don’t think school, where they are supposed to get an education, should be the one place they can be safe? I’m sure they are well aware of the discrimination that exists outside of school. Why do you think they are so mad about being outed? However, the principal seems oblivious to this or just doesn’t care as she won’t “tolerate homosexuality”. Why do we assume authority figures are in the right so often? Just because they are in these positions doesn’t mean they always know the best or fairest thing to do.

  37. SociologicalMom
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    “Moreover, school is not the only place they might experience consequences for open homosexual behavior and it could be argued that it’s harmful to shelter them from these realities in the school environment. If they flaunt a gay relationship later in life, they might well face more serious repercussions than getting their cars ‘keyed’.” -Indigurka
    I have to disagree with the idea that sheltering children–these are minors we’re talking about, after all–from some of the worst stuff life can dish out is harmful. We treat minors differently in our families and institutions and laws because they aren’t yet capable of handling all of the brutal realities. They deserve some measure of protection as they grow and mature before we throw them out to the wolves, and they should be able to expect that kind of protection in schools.
    Also, I have to add that I’m a bit disturbed by your use of the word “flaunt” in the above quote. You may not be intending it this way, but it sounds like you believe that gay couples don’t have the right to be visible the same way straight couples do. And in no way were the couples involved in this story “flaunting” their relationships. They were trying to be discreet but apparently failing- another consequence of being inexperienced minors.

  38. Posted May 4, 2008 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    [i]Thus, they consented to tell people who might possibly tell someone in authority. If they wanted to keep it a secret, they should have done just that. But in the first place, we shouldn’t privilege minors’ freedom to be in secret relationships over a comprehensive attempt to enforce standards of appropriate behavior.[/i]
    1. If they told their friends something that was otherwise secret or at least down low, they obviously trusted these people and were betrayed. Maybe it was a risk to tell anyone, but it is the “friends” that ratted them out that should be ashamed of themselves for betraying these young men’s trust.
    2. “Consenting” to tell one person, or even a few is not an indicator of “consenting” to broadcast something to the world. Example, I would bet that when almost everyone on here was in high school, their friends knew about their sexual history; if they had had sex, what “bases” they’d been to with what person, who they liked, etc, but their teachers, principals and parents did not. This is regardless of sexuality and preference. If one of my friends and told my parents how far I had gone with someone or even something like who I was asking to the prom I’d have been pissed and rightfully so because it was a betrayal of trust. Teenagers are intuitive; they know what things their friends are telling them in confidence and what they aren’t even if it isn’t explicit. They are old enough to know what information should be shared and with whom. Anyone who gave up information about these young men knew exactly what they were doing and [b]they[/b] are the ones in the wrong, not Nicholas and Andrew for confiding in their friends.
    3. Who is to determine what is acceptable public behavior? I for one am not bothered by (moderate) kissing or hand-holding but wouldn’t want to see any more than that. However, there are some who think hand-holding is enough and ANY lip action is too much. And there are probably people who couldn’t care less if they were on the bus next to two people fucking. It’s all relative and no one has the right to draw the line for everyone else.
    In a school, sure, they might need some sort of restriction on what can happen out in the open (these are hormone-packed adolescents, after all, haha), but that shouldn’t be in regard to gender at all. If they break up two guys kissing, they have to also break up two girls kissing or a girl and guy kissing.
    And clearly, their privacy should NOT be invaded by posting their names in the office. Also something that is without regard to gender or preference. As others have said, there could be straight couples hiding their relationships as well. Interracial discrimination already came up, but there are other reasons. Someone could have a reputation or something in their past that people look down on (not saying that’s right, but it happens) and their SO’s parents might have a problem with the relationship. Their could be jealous/abusive exes in the picture. Or even something that seems trivial, like dating across social groups or tiers of wealth that could lead to teasing/harassment by judgmental peers.
    Teens deserve the right to decide who knows about their relationships. The [b]only[/b] time I can see justifying someone else meddling is in cases of abuse and mistreatment. And even that is no reason to broadcast someone’s private business across an entire school.

  39. Posted May 4, 2008 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Goddammit I used the wrong kind of tag. Sorry.

  40. hellotampon
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    “But in the first place, we shouldn’t privilege minors’ freedom to be in secret relationships over a comprehensive attempt to enforce standards of appropriate behavior.”
    If these people didn’t want their relationship known to the whole school then they probably weren’t kissing in the hallway to begin with, so there was no reason to have them on the list.
    And the list itself is unnecessary as part of a “comprehensive attempt to enforce behavior.” I think that making announcements and telling the paraprofessionals to discourage PDA when they see it it comprehensive enough. I really don’t see how the list helps in any way. You see someone in the hallways kissing, you dole out a detention or whatever, regardless of whether or not they’re on the list.

  41. piotrek
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for feeding the troll, but the point was make so concisely that I would not qualify it as trollish: “But in the first place, we shouldn’t privilege minors’ freedom to be in secret relationships over a comprehensive attempt to enforce standards of appropriate behavior.”
    Inappropriate behavior being “showing affection”. Presumably, in a subtle way, so a witness not conversant with the principal’s list could think that she/he sees some simple joshing.
    This is really Pink Floyd stuff: derision, mind control, stomping out “having feeling, feeling of an almost human nature. That will not do.”
    Minors perhaps have no rights in legal sense, but one should remember that adults have rights for a reason, not because we got some freaks as Founding Fathers. And here were are really talking about an attempt to deprive pupils of their dignity and giving free reign to the obsessions of the principal.

  42. kate
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    haha, feminist-poser troll said “flaunt a gay relationship.”
    move along, homophobe.

  43. Posted May 5, 2008 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I really hope that principal gets fired and never gets a job again where people’s privacy should be maintained.

  44. sasham
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Thats a horrible abuse of power, students should have some expecation of privacy regarding their friendships, and relationships.
    GenderPAC does some really great work on protecting students and their right to express their gender however they choose. Students should definitely fill out their survey at:
    http://www.gpac.org/GENIUS2008survey.
    I’ve worked with GenderPAC before and they really care about making schools safer.

  45. MLEmac
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    There are so many things wrong with this.
    My two best friends since I was a kid are gay. Grady came out when he was 13. He first told his closest friends (I remember that phone call rather vividly), then it accidentally got out at his school. He got a surprising amount of support from the other students, which was great. Then one day his parents came in for a conference, and a teacher, not knowing that his parents were still unaware, outed him. That was a tough experience for him. Fortunately, they did accept it eventually, and are really enthusiastic about his current boyfriend.
    My other friend had a gay parent already, so coming out to her parents wasn’t so scary, but she feared a lot more at school.
    This principal violated the privacy of every student in the school. First of all, if she wants to have a list of the couples, fine. But keep it private. I can see a number of problems arising other than that with the gay students. For example: Say Amy and Joe are dating, then Billy, Amy’s ex, walks into the office and sees that and learns of the new relationship. He might be violent towards them. The aforementioned problem with interracial couples is another that I have had first hand experience with. My boyfriend in high school was black, and though our parents had no problem with it, we experienced a lot of hostility from the general public.
    The mere fact that the principal called the parents is the most disgusting thing to me. Every gay youth should have the right to decide when, where, and how to come out to their parents. Any self righteous principal who bypasses that should be fired and prosecuted for any harms that might come to the student.

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