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STUDENTS DISCIPLINED FOR WEARING ‘GAY O.K.’ T-SHIRTS SAY SCHOOL IGNORED CLASSMATE’S BULLYING

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BY JOHN WRIGHT from towleroad.com

Mckinney

Last week we told you how a middle school in McKinney, Texas, had sent home students who wore T-shirts saying “Gay O.K.” to support a bullied classmate.

Now, the school district is acknowledging that the students had every right to wear the shirts, and should not have been disciplined by administrators at Faubion Middle School. However, some even more troubling allegations have emerged.

The students who wore the shirts say they reported the bullying to a vice principal, but he ignored it and even mocked the bisexual seventh-grader who was the victim. The district denies that, but says it’s still investigating.

The students who wore the shirts say anti-LGBT bullying is a big problem at the school.

BuzzFeed News reports:

When a vice-principal heard about the bullying and failed to intervene, the students say, they made the T-shirts as a last resort.

”They cared more about our simple shirt that said ‘Gay O.K’ than the extreme bullying that has happened to the people who have come out recently,” Sammy Heiman, a seventh-grader who made the shirts, told BuzzFeed News. …

”Gay-shaming and bullying for being different is a big problem at our school,” said [seventh-grader Anna] Thompson. ”There are tons of kids who are different, and our school has a lot of very religious people in it and they like to speak their mind. They like to say that being gay is wrong and bad.”

The incident – which comes just before the 5th Annual North Texas Pride Party in downtown McKinney – isn’t terribly surprising for the city, an ultraconservative Dallas suburb that is home to GOP state Rep. Scott Sanford, the author of an unsuccessful anti-LGBT “license to discriminate” adoption proposal.

Of course, McKinney was also the site of a horrifying incident on Friday in which a police officer tackled a young black girl to the ground and pulled a gun on unarmed teens as he was trying to break up a pool party. The Dallas Morning News reports that the incident has become a national flashpoint about racism and police tactics.

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