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DKos diary: Gay Teen Expelled From Christian High School

Ryan Davis of Notgeniuses.com has a diary up on Daily Kos about this outrage in Dallas. A closeted teen at a Christian private school starts up a web site to be able to chat with other gay teens on-line for support and then, when someone alerts the school, he’s outed and expelled. Excerpts from the entry:

What would you do if you were a closeted eighteen-year old senior in high school and your principal told your parents that you were gay? James Barnett, who was a senior at Trinity Christian Academy in Dallas, Texas.

…A snoopy kid at school told several heads in the administration that James was gay and ran a gay-themed website. He was called into the office and grilled about the site and his sexual orientation. After the discussion James asked the principle repeatedly not to inform his parents. “I again emphasized and I explicitly said, ‘I am 18, I reserve the right for my parents not to know and I do not want them involved.'”

What happens next?

“The first people I see to walk in the door are my mother and my father. This is where I bury my head in my hands and don’t really know what to do, how to respond – I for the first time in my life have never felt that betrayed and first time I’ve ever been speechless.” The principal took it upon himself to out his student. “They tell my parents “I am struggling with homosexuality.” My mother broke down in tears, my dad wasn’t particularly thrilled…”

If this wasn’t enough they took six days to decide to expel James from school, citing ‘immoral behavior and supporting an immoral cause.’ “The reason for expulsion and the suspension is the fact that what I have done/am is a Class A offense. I am not given a chance to appeal to honor council, it’s “too sensitive.”

He has contacted the ACLU about the expulsion, but considering it’s a private religious school that can set its own rules (including discrimination against homosexuals), I unfortunately don’t think the kid has much of a chance on that front. The fact that his principal outed him, and not allowed James to disclose his orientation to his parents, however, is cruel and humiliating.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding