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Teen Booted From School Pageant For Wanting Gay Marriage

Teen Booted From School Pageant For Wanting Gay Marriage

 

A gay teen was disqualified from a student pageant this week by his school’s assistant principal for saying that he hopes marriage equality is legal in the next ten years.

Teen Kearian Gertz, who attends Fullerton Union High School in California, was reportedly yanked from the competition by Assistant Principal Joe Abell on Tuesday night when, in answer to a question about where Gertz sees himself in 10 years time, Gertz answered that he would like to find the love of his life and would like to get married, saying he hoped gay marriage is legal by then.

This apparently did not sit well with the assistant principal who reportedly got up on stage and told Gertz he was disqualified.

Reports Voice of OC:

Heather Sutherland, the parent of another student, was in the audience during the Tuesday night competition. She said the male student was asked as part of the contest what he hoped to be doing in 10 years.

She said he initially made a lighthearted comment about being a highly successful entertainer but then turned serious.

According to a letter circulated Wednesday by other students to support the teen who was removed from the competition, “he replied by saying he hopes to find the love of his life, and to be able to marry him, and that he hopes gay marriage will be legal.”

While the student was giving his answer, “assistant principal Joe Abell came on stage in front of the hundreds of people in attendance and interrupted [the student's] speech and disqualified him from the competition,” the support letter stated.

The district quickly issued a statement saying that the matter wasn’t handled correctly, and noting that the assistant principal has since apologized both in person and publicly.

Reports the Orange County Register:

In a statement, Fullerton Joint Union High School District Superintendent George Giokaris said the student’s answer did not violate any school rules.

“The district has concluded that the matter was not handled appropriately by the assistant principal,” Giokaris said. “The district believes that the matter should have been handled privately with the student by the assistant principal.”

Giokaris said the administrator apologized privately to the student and publicly over the school’s public-address system Wednesday morning.

The district has declined to say if Abell will face further disciplinary action.

This comes after a large support campaign was created by Gertz’s peers who all thought that his being pulled from the competition was unfair. The student protest, which rumbles on, also wants “a direct change to the rules stated in the student handbook so that it directly includes rules against bullying based on sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation, and gender identity.

“We know that with the support of our fellow students, we can bring justice to this situation, and make a better future for those on campus,” the letter circulated by students is reported to have said.

You can hear Gertz talk about what happened, and also hear what the assistant principal had to say for himself, in the video interview below:

 

Related Reading:

Teens Reject ‘Gay Marriage is Like Bestiality’ Talk

Anchorage Rejects LGBT Rights Protections

Best Anti-Bullying Video Ever?

 

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Image taken from video no infringement intended.

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100 comments

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11:24AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

"Handled privately.? Hmmmm, can't see anyhting needed to be handled, privately or publicly, except an unemployed vice principal. An honest answer to a question. The right to free speech. A brave young man with lots of friends that support him. Take note, Fullerton Union High School!

6:51PM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

hate is hate and no principal of such low caliber should be educating OR disciplining children

9:40AM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

@Michele H. Why on EARTH would you be willing to send your children to a place solely because the assistant principal would publicly humiliate and discriminate against them for sharing an idea, especially when that idea is for nothing less than the hope of love?

Do you hate your children that much?

8:55AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Good for that Asst. Principal. I would send my kids to any school he is at.

12:51PM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

why ndoes it take 6or 7 times times to get comment posted.

12:48PM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

Another homophobe who is probably a right wing conservative who is not being fair to any of the students he is over. If he has those feelings against gays, let him teach at a narrow minded right wing conservative school, where there is no diversity.

9:56AM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

I see nothing wrong with what he said. The assistant principal is at fault here

4:38PM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

The move by Assistant Principal Joe Abell was highly inappropriate.

However, in a high school environment, pageant or otherwise, usually when one is asked where they see themselves in 10 years time, it is meant to bring forth a response regarding career or personal ambitions.
Not the type/or sex of spouse they would be cohabiting with.

The response was equally provocative.

In the sixties, maybe that would be the response of a female entrant but times have changed.

4:10PM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

This assistant principal needs extensive diversity training. What's with
“The district believes that the matter should have been handled privately with the student by the assistant principal?” Nothing needs to be "handled privately". This statement more than anything shows to school's true attitude toward LGBT students. Whatever the apology was, it is almost a given that it was purely a public relations move to get off the hook.

4:09PM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

This assistant principal needs extensive diversity training. What's with
“The district believes that the matter should have been handled privately with the student by the assistant principal?” Nothing needs to be "handled privately". This statement more than anything shows to school's true attitude toward LGBT students. Whatever the apology was, it is almost a given that it was purely a public relations move to get off the hook.

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