HRC Blog

Tennessee School Uproar over Article on LGBT Student

Post submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

An article in the Lenoir City High School yearbook profiling a gay student is causing controversy, with one school board member calling even calling for a criminal investigation into the yearbook’s faculty advisor.

The student who wrote the article is afraid to be identified. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, other students are circulating petitions calling for their classmates to rip the page out of the yearbook during graduation as a sign of protest, and even to deny the gay student his diploma.

School board member Van Shaver has called for a criminal investigation into the yearbook’s faculty advisor, who he accuses of “inflicting…personal beliefs and sexual orientation decisions on impressionable students.”

The author of the article has explicitly stated that the advisor “never once pressured us to have certain beliefs.”

No student should ever feel embarrassed or ashamed of who they are. Unfortunately, Shaver’s reaction to the article is fueling an atmosphere that leads to just that. Join us in supporting the author’s article and the gay student in question – and all LGBT youth across Tennessee – by spreading this story far and wide.

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