Gay community reacts to ACLU complaint against city schools - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Gay community reacts to ACLU complaint against city schools

Members of Memphis' gay community demanded answers Wednesday after an ACLU complaint alleged a Memphis City Schools principal outed two gay students.

Daphney Beasley, the principal at Hollis F. Price Middle College High School in Memphis, is at the center of the ACLU complaint, filed Tuesday. The complaint claims Beasley demanded over her school's intercom that she get, "names of all students who were couples, hetero or homo."

Members of the gay community were outraged upon hearing the suit's claims.

"My first reaction is I'm sad for the teenagers involved," said Sebastian Dumaurier, when he heard about the complaint. "It's hard enough being gay and coming to terms with that yourself, without having to face others with that."

The complaint goes on to say that Beasley made a list of couples so she could monitor the students in order to prevent public displays of affection.  It says Beasley told the parents of two boys on the list that, "homosexuality would not be tolerated at Hollis F. Price."

The ACLU complaint claims the list was displayed in Beasley's office for anyone to see, something people in the gay community say would be devastating for a young person.

"I am outraged by that," Darian Porter said. "No one should be outing anyone, on any level, at any age."

Porter said fellow students outed him when he was in the fifth grade.

"To be outed an criticized by your friends and made fun of at such a young age, that's going to be detrimental to them for the rest of their lives," Porter said.

Memphis City School's policy on discrimination says, "Students have the right to attend school in an environment free from discrimination/harassment that is based on race, color, religion, national origin, handicap/disability, or sex.  Students also have the right to complain about incidents without retaliation."

The ACLU is demanding new school policies. 

Memphis City Schools said in a statement they take the allegations seriously and are investigating the matter.


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