When the vast majority of Pennsylvania students report hearing homophobic remarks such as “faggot” or “dyke” (82%), or the expressions “that’s so gay” or “you’re so gay” (93%) from other students while in school, you’d think the school board wouldn’t partake in the bigotry, but in Pennsylvania, one has no problem uttering slurs in a meeting. (Beaver County Times):

Mary Jo Kehoe of Economy told the board Wednesday she couldn’t believe her ears so she jotted down what Ambridge School Board Vice President William Scherfel said when he referred to the high school’s new Gay-Straight Alliance group as a “sex club” during a Nov. 8 work session. She said when two board members tried to correct Scherfel’s politically-incorrect blunder by telling him the club’s formal name, Scherfel replied, “OK, the faggots.”

“I personally found it very offensive,” Kehoe said.

Adam Smith of Ambridge, the senior who founded the club, also found Scherfel’s words distasteful. He said the club’s mission is to promote diversity and confront discrimination and homophobia. He invited Scherfel to a club meeting. He also asked for a written apology and Scherfel’s resignation.

It’s amusing that in this article, the reporters and editors have taken to calling faggot “The F Word.”

Scherfel didn’t deny he used “the F-word,” but blamed the controversy on politics.

Needless to say, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GSLEN) condemned Mr. Ignorance. The Pittsburgh branch has called for Scherfel’s resignation; however, he’s defiant and has no plans to step down.

According the Beaver County Times, Scherfel said he grew up in a different generation when certain terms were acceptable in referring to gays and other groups [Oh, please.]. Two other members of the board, including the president, downplayed the severity of Scherfel’s actions.

“People need to understand that this kind of language means something and it hurts people,” said GLSEN Deputy Executive Director Eliza Byard. “In fact, it has a very negative impact on school climate for all students. There is no place for this sort of language anywhere, let alone by an education official at a public meeting.”

Hat tip, Val and Right Wing Watch.

* PA wingnuts: ban Gay-Straight Alliance or face God’s wrath
* Georgia wingnut equates Gay-Straight Alliance club with pedophile, gambling orgs
* Rowan County, NC schools ban gay-straight alliance
* PFOX’s “Ex-Gay” & “Everstraight” Student Clubs

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding