UPDATE: Cross-posted at The Daily Voice.
A Tennessee high school principal is under fire for "outing" at least two black gay teenagers to parents, faculty staff and students. The incident happened at a college prep on the grounds of one of the nation's historically black colleges—and many HBCUs do not have a good track record with gay students.
Daphne Beasley is the principal of Hollis F. Price Middle College High School in South Memphis, which is located on the campus of HBCU LeMoyne-Owen College. Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit and say in September 2007, Principal Beasley went beyond her role as an educator and "sought out couples of all kinds to monitor them for public displays of affection." Pathetic, right?
"She compiled a list of names, which included students Andrew and Nicholas (last names omitted), based on information she received from teachers and students; the list was clearly visible to anyone who visited her office."
Of those that saw this list was Andrew's mother, Andrea. "I couldn't believe it when I went to meet with the principal and that list was right there by her desk where anyone could see it," she said. "African American people face enough obstacles to succeeding in this world and I want my son to have every opportunity he's worked so hard for. Our schools should be helping our children do well, not tearing them down for something like this."
The 11th grader Nicholas had just made the Dean's List and the honors students tells ABC 24 it was "frightening to see a list with my name on it where not just other teachers could see but students as well." ... I really feel that my personal privacy was invaded. I mean, Principal Beasley called my mother and outed me to my mother!"
The honor student underwent further humiliation and "verbal harassment, when taken out of the running for a class trip to New Orleans related to rebuilding efforts, as a risk to the school's image; Nicholas was told that there were fears he'd embarrass the school by engaging in 'inappropriate behavior.' " That shallow and callous behavior lends a new definition to "no child left behind."
Hollis F. Price Middle College High School was charted in 2004 in a collaborative effort with LeMoyne Owen College. Students can earn a high school diploma and two years of college credit. About 150 students are enrolled right now in grades 9 through 12.
Some Background ....
Homophobia at Hampton? [R20]
"Brother Outsider" Screenings [R20]
Judge Reduces Morehouse Sentence [R20]
Morehouse Anti-Gay Firing [R20]
Black and Gay at Morehouse [Keith Boykin]
A Tale of Two Campuses [Keith Boykin]
Man of Morehouse Part 3[Black Gay Bloger]
Black Museums Should Celebrate Gays[R20]
The (Very Very Gay) Men of Morehouse[R20]