A group of Pennsylvania students at McGuffey High School allegedly organized an “anti-gay day” protest on Thursday, April 16 in response to the LGBT youth-supportive National Day of Silence (NDOS) on Friday.
The protesters came to school wearing coordinating flannel shirts and had the words “anti-gay” written on their hands. They then proceeded to post Bible verses on the LGBT students’ lockers.
“Stickers and flyers are also being placed around the school and on queer kids’ lockers that read ‘ANTI-GAY,'” a student named Ashley wrote to G Philly. “This movement is a retaliation of the Day Of Silence that was set in place to remember people whose lives have ended due to LQBTIA bullying. The ‘Anti-Gay’ club, to begin with, is an obvious sign of bullying and discrimination. These kids need help. We are all people and we all deserve to be treated as such.”
Several teachers tried to protect the students by removing the posters before they saw them.
“On April 16, 2015, allegations of harassment were brought to the attention of our administration,” Superintendent Dr. Erica Kolat said in a statement. “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.”
Several teachers tried their best to protect their students by removing the posters before they saw them. However, the harassment continued with the LGBT students being bullied and called derogatory names.
“We came in to school on Thursday and found a lot of people wearing flannel and we couldn’t figure out why,” Zoe Johnson, a 16-year-old bisexual student told Buzzfeed News. “People started getting pushed and notes were left on people’s lockers.”
“I got called a dyke, a faggot. They were calling us every horrible name you can think of.”
Johnson and several of her fellow students spoke at the school board meeting on Thursday night, urging the administrators to take notice to the anti-gay bullying going on in their school.
“We had a really positive reaction,” she said. “Both the superintendent and assistant superintendent shook my hand. It was very positive. You could tell whose side they were truly on.”
“The kids were very calm and well prepared,” Cameron said. “They wanted to make sure that it didn’t happen again and that the bullies were taken to task. The board was appalled that the kids had been exposed to this treatment and assured them that they would look into it.”
[Photo via Instagram]