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UPDATE: Principal Reportedly Tells Gay Students They’re Going To Hell

UPDATE: Principal Reportedly Tells Gay Students They’re Going To Hell

 

Principal Dorothy Bond of Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tennessee, is the subject of media attention after she reportedly told gay students that they would go to hell. She also reportedly said that pregnant students would end up “jobless, homeless and living off the Government.”

Via ABC 24:

Parents are hot under the collar and the comments could drive a wedge between people living there.

“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,” Amber Whittiemore said.

Whittiemore wasn’t there to hear those words but her friend, who is gay, was. She called Amber in tears.

“When I heard about it, I was outraged,” said Haywood High School parent Tony Snipes.

Snipes says Principal Dorothy Bond has a habit of pushing the envelope.

“A couple of years ago when she was principal over at Sunny Hill one of my children had his hair in braids. At an assembly she told the young men if they’re sitting between the legs of a girl getting their hair braided for a few hours, that they must be gay,” Snipes said.

However, not all parents are critical of Bond, with some saying that she is acting on her beliefs and that she has the kids’ best interests at heart. However, other parents have said this goes beyond any kind of duty she has as principal and is in fact evidence of her proselytizing.

A press release from the ACLU of Tennessee reveals further details.

The statement says that “multiple students” have contacted them regarding an assembly that took place Feb. 9. During that assembly, Principal Bond is reported to have said that gay people are “ruining their lives.”  She then apparently threatened severe punishments, such as 60-day suspensions, assignments to an alternative school, or even expulsion, for any student observed to have publicly displayed affection for a member of the same sex. The press release notes that the school already has a policy against public displays of affection. That policy is sexual orientation neutral. Bond’s statement would, therefore, be an addition to that which appears to single out gay identifying kids.

The ACLU has taken swift action over this, writing a letter to the superintendent of the Haywood County school district, wherein it points out that this latest incident seems to be indicative of a larger problem:

The incident appears to be part of a broader pattern of official anti-gay remarks and policies by the principal, and of incorporating prayers and proselytizing into school events. On one occasion, school officials scolded students who did not bow their heads in prayer and threatened them with discipline. On another occasion, the principal told a lesbian student that she would go to “hell” because of her sexual orientation.

“Students have the right to be who they are at school,” said Amanda Goad, staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT Project. “LGBT students and pregnant and parenting students have just as much right to complete their education as any other student, but too often they face significant barriers or outright discrimination. It’s appalling to think that a principal would kick students out of public school based on her personal religious views.”

The ACLU has asked the school to clarify that students have the constitutional right to identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual; to acknowledge that two students of the same sex are dating; to express LGBT-friendly political views; and to receive an education free from the unlawful promotion of religion by school officials.

At the time of writing, Principal Bond is yet to make a statement. ABC 24 quotes a spokesperson for the district as having said that the district in no way condones discrimination on grounds of personal characteristics. There has not yet been any word on whether disciplinary action will be taken against Bond.

This post is a developing story and will be updated if and when further information becomes available.

UPDATE: The Jackson Sun reports that, according to the school system’s law firm, Dorothy Bond has resigned her position. A statement released through Purcell, Sellers & Craig, Inc., stresses that the Haywood County Board of Education wants to foster an “atmosphere of tolerance and diversity.”

 

Related Reading:
Vote on Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Delayed
Tennessee Student Discouraged From Forming LGBT Club
TN Governor Intervenes Over Don’t Say Gay Bill

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Cesar Augusto Serna Sz

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130 comments

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1:21PM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

Tennessee; here we go again!

11:15AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Bye, bye Bitch. She has no business working with young people. I am sickened by these Right-wing bigots who demonize homosexuals, especially when they try to shame vulnerable and insecure adolescents for their sexual orientation. Every school board who passes a "Don't say Gay" rule, needs to implement a "Don't say "God" rule". Separation of Church and State is enshrined in the First Amendment as LAW. Bigotry is not.

4:04PM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

just wrong to have your beliefs be slapped down by a respected authority member that before, you though you trusted.

6:04AM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

Bigoted, homophobic, small minded, people should never be teachers. She was obviously brought up Republican to hate and her beliefs continued to spread more hatred towards the children. Just a sickening story and the school should be very glad she won't be teaching intolerance and hatred to children there anymore.

6:30AM PDT on Mar 20, 2012

I agree she should also have defamation charges or the like brought against her. But the sad part is she did this for years and got away with it and in a district that would allow this to go on for so long will probably just replace her with a same type person. The rules in that district need to be enforced swiftly and not only after long numerous occasions. I just hope that the kids don't get blamed for this and take back lash. I hope all the children were told she left because what she did was wrong and not because of the kids she picked on.

10:37PM PST on Mar 9, 2012

I think most of us can agree that this idiot should be fired. That said, she also needs to be charged with child abuse!

8:19AM PST on Mar 6, 2012

I am Chrisitan and I am totally disgusted whom so call themselve Christian treat homosexuals, I do not aprove their life style, but that does not means to bully them, to insult them or hate them; this is not Chrisitan at all! Homosexual are human beings and I respect what they choose,is their choice as I have mine. Do I approve of their homosexualism no, but harm them in any way is not an option!

4:54AM PST on Mar 6, 2012

As a Born Again Christian I would like to say this.. God Loves Gay Children.. If you go to heaven it is because you were a good person, you loved others and not because you were or were not gay.

Those who tell you God does not love Gay children.. they do not know God, and in the end God will not know them. They can chose good or evil just like you, to love or to hate , are both in the bible, they have made their choice, do not allow their choice to colour yours. Keep on loving others so that you do not fall into the same pit as those who have forgotten that Jesus said that loving others and loving God is what ALL the laws and ALL the prophets hang on..

6:47PM PST on Mar 5, 2012

Indeed...GOOD RIDDANCE! Go be a preacher or something....stay away from students.

6:17PM PST on Mar 5, 2012

Good riddance to her. Words hurt and hers will likely stay with these kids who are having a hard enough time without the barbs.

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