A ‘Gay-Straight Alliance’ logo t-shirt prompted an alleged assault in Eastern Tennessee. According to Sequoyah High School senior Chris Siglers, his principal, Maurice Moser, physically assaulted him after he refused to remove his GSA shirt.
The altercation, which has garnered significant media coverage, occurred during a school-wide debate over whether to establish a Sequoyah GSA branch. School officials have resisted requests to form the club on campus, while students and the local ACLU chapter say that the club would promote a safe school environment for all students. Although Siglers was peacefully supporting the club’s implementation, he claims to have been met with intolerance and violence – from his high school principal, no less.
Chris’ story is yet another painful reminder of the harsh realities LGBT students face in the classroom. It further underscores the necessity for events like Ally Week (October 17-21), a week for LGBT and straight students alike to promote bullying awareness and to speak out against anti-LGBT behavior and language, and Spirit Day on October 20.
Principal Moser’s alleged actions are not inclusive and do not promote a healthy school environment. As we prepare to celebrate Ally Week, GLAAD urges all students to become allies and stand against anti-LGBT bullying at school and at home. Allies continue to play an integral role in ensuring safe schools across our nation.