School Encourages Homophobic Humiliation as Student Punishment

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    Dec 02, 2012 11:36 PM GMT
    An Arizona principal made two boys hold hands in the school courtyard to 'teach them a lesson.'

    http://www.takepart.com/article/2012/12/02/school-encourages-homophobic-humiliation-student-punishment?cmpid=tp-fb

    Two Arizona high school students who were caught fighting faced a controversial punishment concocted by their principal: Either endure a suspension, or sit in the school courtyard holding hands while other students shout and throw homophobic slurs at you.

    The message here seems to be that there’s nothing more horrific than being perceived as gay.

    Student Brittney Smyers told ABC 15, "Kids were laughing at them and calling them names asking, 'Are you gay?'”

    Pictures of the boys holding hands surfaced online with some singing the principal’s praises, while others denounced his tactics as shortsighted and discriminatory.

    Tim Richard is Westwood High School’s first-year principal, described by colleagues as a “dynamo” who was brought in to reinvigorate the school’s reputation, starting with its academic standing.

    Helen Hollands, director of communication and marketing for Mesa Public Schools, told ABCNews she’s behind Richard. “He’s done some great things there. He’s focused highly on maintaining a standard where [ideally] no students are failing a class.”

    But not everyone agrees. A new petition went up on SignOn.org insisting on Richard’s dismissal for encouraging and legitimizing bullying in schools. “…this particular incident sends a clear message to gay students. It equates being gay or perceived as gay to punishment, and ranks it along side being thrown out of school. The knock-on effect of this sanctioned bullying will only serve to exacerbate the social ostracism that too many gay and lesbian students still experience in public schools.”
  • TrentGrad

    Posts: 1541

    Dec 03, 2012 2:19 AM GMT
    Wow...after reading that, I have a new appreciation for those teen boys on "The Principal's Office." Of course they were in Washington State, not Arizona...so obviously the stigma towards being potentially perceived as gay wasn't as great for them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfQAPsknFNs

    Have to admit, this Principal kinda wierded me out!
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    Dec 03, 2012 2:53 AM GMT
    Yeah, my home state is odd in some respects... but thankfully, its a mix that I can relate to. icon_cool.gificon_wink.gif