Tennessee principal resigns after saying LGBT students ‘going to hell’

By David Edwards
Friday, March 2, 2012 9:58 EDT
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Students at Haywood High School
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A principle in West Tennessee has resigned after allegedly threatening to expel LGBT students.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Thursday said it sent a letter to the Haywood County school district superintendent because several students complained that Haywood High School Principal Dorothy Bond had threatened to expel them if they showed affection for members of the same sex.

Student Amber Whittiemore told ABC 24 that Bond had singled out LGBT and pregnant students during a Feb. 9 student assembly.

“At first she was talking about PDA and she turned around and she directly pointed to the gay people and said if you’re gay you’re going to hell and if you’re pregnant, you’re life is over,” Whittiemore said.

The ACLU received reports that Bond had also threatened LGBT students with 60-day suspensions during that same assembly.

“Students should never be made to feel like they are unwelcome at their own school, especially by school leadership,” ACLU of Tennessee executive director Hedy Weinberg said in a media advisory. “We expect school officials to clearly state that they do not condone this type of harassment and targeted discrimination, and to take action to ensure that it does not happen again.”

In a statement on Thursday, the board of education said it “acknowledges its student body’s right to free speech” and “strives to provide an atmosphere of tolerance and diversity while maintaining high academic standards.”

By late Thursday night, Bond had resigned, according to The Tennessean.

Watch this video from ABC 24, broadcast Feb. 29, 2012.


Photo: Haywood High School

(H/T: Gawker)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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