Students at a Pittsburgh area high school planned an Anti-Gay Day in which they wore flannel shirts, wrote “Anti-Gay” on their hands and bullied the school’s homosexual students, leaving many students afraid to return.
The incident happened at McGuffey High School in Washington County and was allegedly planned by a group of students. The group spread the word that if other students were anti-gay they needed to wear a flannel shirt on a particular day.
The quiet protest was reportedly a reaction to the “Day of Silence,” which is meant to raise awareness of anti-gay bullying in schools.
Students at McGuffey High School reported that the anti-gay day entailed more than just wearing flannel. They said some of the participants targeted the school’s homosexual students, hanging posters on their lockers and pushing the students.
The anti-gay dad didn’t sit well with many students and has created a rift between the anti-gay students and others in the school.
“It hurts me to see how rude and cruel, and some of these people were my friends before this started,” Zoe Johnson, a student at McGuffey High School, told WPXI.
As more attention is being paid to the problem of bullying, homosexual students still face an uphill battle. As Advocate noted, there is still much animosity toward these students, both from their peers and from nationwide organizations like Focus on the Family.
“Nationwide, animosity toward the Day of Silence has been encouraged by groups like Focus on the Family and the Illinois Family Institute, which organized antigay events like the Day of Dialogue as well as walkouts in protest of GLSEN’s “homosexuality-affirming dogma.”
“GLSEN reports that 56 percent of LGBT students felt unsafe at school due to their their sexual orientation. In addition, 38 percent felt unsafe because of their gender expression.”
At McGuffey High School, opponents to the anti-gay day are trying to bring a stop to the bullying. Zoe Johnson took her concerns to the school board, saying administrators didn’t do enough to stop the anti-gay day once it was organized.
“They made an announcement this morning, saying the only colors are blue and gold, but I feel like that is not getting the point across. Just to ignore it isn’t going to work,” said Johnson.
The school district has responded to the anti-gay day, with Superintendent Erica Kolat releasing a statement.
“Yesterday afternoon, April 16, 2015, allegations of harassment were brought to the attention of our administration. McGuffey School District, along with school police officers, continue to investigate all allegations. We will follow our Student Code of Conduct, and file legal citations, as warranted. We resolve to ensure that all children can grow and learn in a safe, supportive environment free from discrimination.”
But many students at McGuffey High School say they are now afraid to return to school, and the group that planned the anti-gay day reportedly has another five days worth of anti-gay attire planned.
[Image via Getty Images]