It's bad enough that children and teens suspected of being homosexual are being bullied literally into their graves by their fellow students. But what about the straight teens who are supportive of their homosexual schoolmates being bullied by their principals?
His name's Chris Sigler and boy, is his case a doozy.
Chris is a student at Sequoyah High School in Madisonville, Tenn., which, ironically enough, has a number listed on their website to which students can text to report drugs, weapons, threats, bullying or disruptive behavior. And he says that the principal, Maurice Moser, has done nothing but make Chris's life miserable since he went public with his support of a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) in the school.
The whole situation started over petitions to start the GSA. The petition was an attempt to encourage bringing the two groups together and decrease homophobia among students. And though the first effort got 150 signatures, the principal shut it down and banned petitions about the GSA from the school. Chris and two other students brought forth an application for recognition of the GSA, but when they couldn't produce a sponsor, the project was shut down.
Chris says this is unusual. Usually Principal Moser helps groups that can't find sponsors. But in this case, three potential sponsors backed out after having a conversation with Moser behind closed doors.
After making sure it didn't violate the school dress code, Chris wrote “Gay Straight Alliance: We've Got Your Back” on a t-shirt and wore it to school. The second day he wore it, the principal told him to change or be suspended. When Chris refused, Moser kicked everyone out of the classroom, and according to Chris, his sister and his mother, Moser got extremely aggressive with Chris.
But never fear, the ACLU is here. They've announced their support for the teen, and have said they will take the case of the students wanting to form the GSA if Monroe County doesn't honor their students' right to free speech.
“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,” said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee.