Thursday, April 05, 2012

Gay student receives apology after being publicly embarrassed by school official

The following is a true story to remind folks how far our community has come. There was a time that a gay youth wouldn't be brave enough to make such a public statement, to say nothing about being defended by so many people after said incident:

An assistant principal at Fullerton Union High School took to the school's public address system Wednesday and apologized for pulling a student off the stage of the school's so-called Mr. Fullerton competition after the young man made remarks in support of gay marriage.

The student, who was participating in the annual light-natured pageant, was asked by judges what he hoped his future had in store.

He reportedly replied that he hoped to find a partner and marry him if gay marriage were legal, according to a report in the Orange County Register. The student has not been identified.

Fullerton Joint Union High School District officials on Wednesday criticized the assistant principal, whose name hasn't been released, saying that the "matter was not handled appropriately." Supt. George J. Giokaris said in a statement that the "matter should have been handled privately."

The assistant principal met with the student, asking him if a public apology would make the situation worse for the student or embarrass him, the district said. The student told him it would be all right.

So on Wednesday, the district said the assistant principal apologized to the student by name and to the rest of the school community, acknowledging that he had handled the situation inappropriately.

The district, citing the confidentiality of personnel issues, declined to say whether any  disciplinary action against the administrator was taken.

What's inspiring about this story is how the young man's fellow students took the initiative to protest what they felt was an unfair action. Most likely, what they did led to the apology:

Friends of the student protested by passing out nearly 200 letters addressed to the assistant principal asking, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"

The letters included space for protestors to write a personal message. Senior Blake Danford, who helped organize the protest, said the group plans to deliver them to the assistant principal later in the week.

"This is an entire situation about bullying," Danford said.

Stories like this no doubt scares the religious right because it means quite simply in spite of all of their money, their connections, and their lies, they won't win in the end.

Change is coming and at the head of that change is the next generation, opening doors and stamping down ignorance.

I say bring it on.





Bookmark and Share

3 comments:

BJ Jackson Lincoln said...

This is the third or forth piece this week about the kids taking control and supporting fairness and equality. There must be a few good teachers out there supporting the kids too but the kids get it and they are banning together.
This June a new wave of graduates will be signing up to vote and they are the ones who will be making a difference. This scares the crap out of the Right. It makes me misty with joy and hope.

John Richards said...

“Fullerton Joint Union High School District officials on Wednesday criticized the assistant principal, whose name hasn't been released, saying that the "matter was not handled appropriately." Supt. George J. Giokaris said in a statement that the "matter should have been handled privately."”

“Handled privately?” Handle what? Why does a student saying that he sees himself married in ten years need to be “handled” at all?

Tom said...

Good point, John Richards. The question was asked of the student, and it was answered. While I did read somewhere that this was a departure from some kind of "script", I'm even more heartened that the student was inspired to be honest in his answer. How lame is it to script a question like that, anyway?